One of the "best" achievements of Europe's Christian culture was the transformation of various pagan winter festivals into a celebration of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
December 25th occurs about the time of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The shortening days were taken as a sign that the Sun was getting weaker. After the Solstice, the days begin to get longer and pagan folks thought that was an indication that the Sun was getting stronger. Thus, the Winter Solstice became the birthday of several gods: Attis, Frey, Thor, Dionysus (my favourite:-), Osiris, Adonis, Mithra, Tammuz, Cernunnos and so forth. It is a solar holiday, marking the time that the sun becomes apparently stronger day by day.
Jesus was born on December 25, of a virgin. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and magicians Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar [magi]. The Greek word interpreted as "wise men" is "Magoi." He raised the dead and healed the sick and cast out demons. He returned to heaven at the spring equinox and before doing so had a last supper with his 12 disciples (representing the 12 signs of the zodiac), eating mizd, a piece of bread marked with a cross (an almost universal symbol of the sun).
The Encyclopedia Britannica (1949, article Christmas) says—“CHRISTMAS (the 'Mass of Christ')”. Clement of Alexandria (about 200 AD) mentions several speculations on the date of Christ's birth, and condemns them as superstitious... The exact day and year of Christ's birth have never been satisfactorily settled. When the Fathers of the Church in AD 340 decided upon a date to celebrate the event, they wisely (!) chose the day of the Winter Solstice, which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people, and which was their MOST IMPORTANT FESTIVAL.”
We have to reverse history.. I hereby kindly reclaim our Teuto paganish festival !
(Adapted from http://www.stevethepro.ukf.net/xmas/ , http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/legend01/wisemen.htm, http://atheism.about.com/b/a/051387.htm and http://www.apfn.org/apfn/christianity.htm)