Theme: “Light of Christmas” By: Owl City (Featuring Toby Mac)
Quote: “Look how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness” - Anne Frank
Normally my format for these blogs, are just long dialogs of my brain streaming. Talking about what I have learned, researched and expressing my emotions.
This one is going to have those elements, but thanks to a YouTuber I enjoy watching. I have several ideas and decided to have some fun with this one. I'm not naming the Channel out of caution since this person may not want to be associated with an amateur such as myself. Anyone familiar with this person's work will perhaps know, please be aware we are not connected and this is not an approved theory through any other person.
Now that the legal stuff is handled, let’s address the elephant in the room.
Holiday is used in describing more than one holiday. As there are many religious holidays, (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.) as well as cultural holidays (i.e., Kwanza). The uproar about using the term ‘Holiday’ is grossly over exaggerated.
For those who keep saying “Keep the Christ in Christmas” Their right but saying Holiday doesn’t take Him out of Christmas. X-Mas does. A ‘shortening’ of the name that replaces the name of Christ with an X, often symbolizing an ‘unknown variable’.
Also, the origin of the world ‘Holiday’ comes from an Old English word hāligdæg ( hālig " holy " + dæg " day "). (a)
A time I have been ‘offended’ was when some stores started to call a ‘Christmas Tree’ a ‘Holiday Tree’. When they know very well the only time people were buying them was for Christmas.
However, there did seem to be a small rising trend where people decorate a tree year-round, but that seems more the exception than the rule.
Now, on to the theory!
Why a theory you may ask? Easy, I’m taking observations and historical facts, and purposing a theory that may seem unorthodox and unlikely. The fact that Christmas and Hanukkah are one and the same! So, don’t check out until I’m finished.
Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple had been defiled and many Israelites murdered, then they were told they had to stop their worship of their own God and worship the Greek gods. Then the family known as ‘The Maccabees’ rose up and fought. It was no easy task, but the beat all odds. Miraculously won the battles they needed to and at last reclaimed the Temple. They set to clean and re-sanctify it. The most important thing was the Golden Menorah, however not just any oil could be used. It had to be put through a specific process. It took 8 days to make this ‘holy oil’. And they only had one day’s worth of it that survived the ransacking.
It was decided that they would go ahead and light the Menorah and start the process for making the oil. They worshiped and cleaned, and to their utter astonishment the Menorah was still burning the next day. They again worshiped and continued their work. Another day and it was still burning, up until the 8th day when the oil was finished. That is why Hanukkah has 8 nights. (b)
Christmas is about the birth of the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ. However, Santa and his Reindeer usually take the focus away from that topic. Though I am not speaking poorly of Saint Nickolas, who had a very interesting and impressive story. When you bypass the myths and get to historical facts. The problem being that there is several ‘versions’ of his ‘history’ and it’s difficult to know which is truly accurate. However, they all hold to one major tenet. Generosity, AKA Giving.
The true Origin of Christmas’ is laid out in Luke 2: 1-7:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (c)
There is obviously so much more to this story, just like Hanukkah. However, I have covered some of this in past blogs and there are wonderful resources out there to dig in deeper if desired.
Let’s get straight to the theory.
First, similarities. Those these are not identical in any way. Both Holidays (Holy Days) contain very similar themes.
Hanukkah- It may seem a bit obvious, but providing them with Oil to last 8 days that should have only lasted one? Yeah, that’s pretty impressive! How about the fact that they were not exactly soldiers and they took on trained and very well armored warriors!
Christmas- Through God’s Holy Spirit He provided Life in a virgin, Mary had ‘The Light of the world’. Placed within her. Not just that, but despite there being no room at the Inn, they still had a place to have their baby, had visitors in the Shepherds who praised God and spread the news, and not long later Wisemen providing expensive gifts for the ‘King of Kings’.
Hanukkah- Touching again on the point of untrained men, fought seasoned warriors, and won! Not only that, but they were also able to retake the temple. They took on a force of great danger and came out victorious against all odds.
Christmas- Several times God protected Mary and the unborn Jesus, as well as after he was born. Joseph could have stoned her, but he had compassion. Joseph could have canceled their engagement (Which he was planning to do), but God sent an angel to convince him otherwise. Mary could have died on the journey. It was by one person’s estimate 100 miles on the back of a donkey. She was also VERY pregnant by this point and more at risk. After Jesus was born all boys under the age of 2 were murdered, but Joseph listened to another dream and got them out safely.
Hanukkah- Well this one may seem a little vague, but God warned the Israelites what would happen when they turned away form Him, didn’t listen. That His protection would be gone. Yet, if they turned their hearts back. He would hear them and answer them. This theme is saturating the history of the Jewish people. Hanukkah is one of many testimonies of the amazing promise of the Lord and how accurate every prophecy He spoke has been.
Christmas- There are Prophecies in Scripture dating back hundreds or even thousands of years about the coming of a Messiah. Over 300 to be precise! (d)
Hanukkah- The same day that the temple had been ransacked and defiled, is the exact same day they retook it years later!
Christmas- Jesus (Yeshua) was born, during the Feast of Sukkot (Booths/Tabernacles). We know this for various reasons of time of this censes, the fact that ‘shepherds were in the fields’ (Not going to happen in winter) and especially another reason the town was packed. It was a High Holy Day. Which, amazingly enough if you backtrack 9 months you are around the time of Hanukkah.
Lastly, both days are on the ‘25th day of the 12th month’. Many will tell you that this is a foolish point as that day. The 25th of December was a day to worship the sun god and that it was the rulers at that time combining ‘paganism’ with ‘Christianity’.
However, the one who boasts these claims are typically Believers. (i.e., Christians). I find this amusing as they are taking a key factor out of the equation. The belief that God, saw it coming. There are no coincidences. The thing is, if God truly is ‘All knowing’, He knew this would happen and easily could orchestrate the day/time to give special clues, ‘for those who have eyes to see’.
Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”
There are secrets. Mysteries lying in wait for those who want to dig them up.
In closing, these two holidays are obviously very different. They are also very similar. Sometimes they even occur on the same day. The biblical calendar is a Lunar Calendar while most everyone else uses a Solar Calendar.
They share very heavy themes of miracles, provision, protection, perfect timing and a possibly more importantly God giving a very special gift. For Hanukkah it was light, and for Christmas The Light of the World, Jesus.
The fact that we celebrate at this time the ‘Birth of the Christ’, fits perfectly with the biblical value, that life starts at conception. We in turn are celebrating the same thing as every Jew that Celebrates Hanukkah.
God giving us light miraculously, Protection us, providing what we need, and honor His generosity by showing loving, affection, and giving gifts to one another.
As my parents taught me. The greatest gift isn’t the one under the tree, but the One Who hung on a tree!
God knew all this would happen, that Christmas and Hanukkah would happen. That they would line up. That many would take the Christ out of Christmas, and some deny it because it has ‘paganism’ added to it. Both have become commercialized, both in winter and both about shining light for all to see. (The Hanukkah Menorah AKA hanukkiah and Christmas Lights, often even the tree is position in front of a window like the hanukkiah).
So does the theory hold? Did God plan it all out since the beginning, and is just waiting to see who notices it? Or is this just a wannabe theorist seeing threads where there are none?
I know what I believe but what do you believe? Post in a comment and let’s talk about it.
For now, this has been my Holiday Theory! So grateful you read! <3
(b) There are many sources that add depth to this story and knowledge about Hanukkah: