It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Thanksgiving had been celebrated in England for hundreds of years.
Despite the spread of Christianity, midwinter festivals did not become Christmas for hundreds of years. With no Biblical directive to do so and no mention in the Gospels of the correct date, it wasn’t until the fourth century that church leaders in Rome embraced the holiday. And the date had a pleasing philosophical fit with festivals celebrating the lengthening days after the winter solstice (which fell on Dec. 21 this year). “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born … Christ should be born,” one Cyprian text read .
We will have an in depth presentation on the real roots of the Winter Holiday Season, not only originally as Pagan Holidays, but as they evolved to being created by the Catholic Church.