The
                  
Plain Truth
                  
About
                  
CHRISTMAS

                  
by Herbert W. Armstrong



     Where did we get Christ-
     mas? . . . from the Bible, or
     paganism?
     Here are the astonishing
     facts which may shock you!
     Test yourself. How much
     do you know of the origin
     of the Christmas tree -- of
     "Santa Claus" -- of the
     holly wreath -- of the mis-
     tletoe -- of the custom of
     exchanging gifts?


WHEN I was a very little boy, I was taught to hang
       up my stocking on Christmas eve. When I awak-
       ened the next morning, it was filled with small
toys and sacks or little boxes of candy and nuts. And
beside the mantle, from which my stocking hung, a Christ-
mas tree had suddenly appeared, decorated with shiny
tinsel. And on it hung presents. Other presents for us
children were piled on the floor underneath. I was told
Santa Claus had come down the chimney during the night
and left all these things.
       But did I question what my parents had told me? Of
course not. I accepted it -- took it all for granted. Didn't
you?
       Stop and think a moment! Very few have ever
reflected on why they believe what they do -- why they
follow the customs they do, or from where those customs
came. We were born into a world filled with customs. We
grew up accepting them without question.
       Why? Sheep instinct? Well, not exactly.
       But by nature we do tend to follow the crowd,
whether right or wrong. Sheep follow others to the slaugh-
ter. Humans ought to check up where they are going.
       How -- when did Christmas originate?
       Does Christmas really celebrate the birthday of
Christ? Was Jesus born on December 25th?
       Did the original apostles, who knew Jesus personally
and were taught by Him, celebrate His birthday on
December 25th? Did they celebrate it at all?
       If Christmas is the chief of the Christian holidays,
why do so many non-Christians observe it? Do you know?
       Why do people exchange presents with family mem-
bers, friends, relatives, at Christmas time? Was it because
the wise men presented gifts to the Christ-child? The
answer may surprise you.
       Most people have "supposed" a lot of things about
Christmas that are not true. But let's quit "supposing"
and get the facts!