I've been saying it for years, but it falls on dead ears, but Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. But since some people think that because I'm not a Christian, I'm therefore unqualified to make such assertions, then why not let a Christian tell it:
Christmas was adopted by Christianity late, by some three hundred years. It was incorporated into Christianity in the 4th century, the same way Friday fish-eating was incorporated and during the same time. (Imperial Romans ate fish on Fridays to honor Venus, the goddess of love, fish being the food of love and sex.) The venerial fish-eating was simply co-opted by Christianity and given a revised rationale, namely that Jesus died on Friday, so one should abstain from eating meat on Friday.
In imperial Rome, the December 25 feast in honor of the Invincible Sun, Sol Invictus, was accompanied by the exchange of gifts, cutting of greens, lighting of candles, and public festivals commemorating new life. The sun, after all, had turned in the sky and was rising earlier and setting later, after the winter solstice. Rome on December 25, before Christianity, looked very much like New York on December 25 after Christianity.
In the 4th century, the Christian Church, having been adopted by the Emperor Constantine, was rather suddenly transformed from a persecuted minority into the official imperial religion of Rome. The Church responded by importing the Jesus' birth narratives of Matthew and Luke into the feast of Sol Invictus and erased every reference to the pagan gods. It could be argued that Christians, with the authority of the Roman emperors behind them, stole Christmas from pagan society. Now perhaps it is time to give it back.
I''m a full Solstice convert now. In fact it is interesting that Kwanzaa is during the solstice time (roughly a week) and follows the traditions in some African cultures who had feasts to begin the new planting season.
In any case don't expect to hear the above in the average black church this season. Do expect the usual nonsense though.