Christmas DOES have pagan links… 17-23 December was the ancient festival of Saturnalia. Ergo… Christmas happened under the cover of the toing and froing of that holiday (people travelling, visiting family, buying gifts and special foods, etc). It had a distinct date, but well within the ambit of the holiday. in short, the early Christians used the hubbub around the Saturnalia to keep their holiday under wraps. There are aspects of the Saturnalia in our Christian holiday celebrations such as public banquets, private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere, so, in my view, the attempts of some commentators to “debunk” pagan links to Christmas backfire. Besides which, Christmas is a season where the better-off often “serve” the poorer amongst us… in the Saturnalia, masters would often “serve” their slaves. In short, there are more links than some are comfortable with. As for me, I believe that the “baptism” of these pagan customs wasn’t only innocent, it was beneficial and positively good. Our pagan ancestors weren’t evil… they were merely unchristian. Their good customs, intentions, folkways, and mores DESERVED “baptism” and I’m glad that the Church was wise enough to do that.
Pagan links to Christmas? YES! It would’ve been strange otherwise, no?