Local newspaper had a angry reader message that christmas was celebration of Jesus and non christians should not be allowed to have christian holidays. I always thought it was pagan festival. So I read a bit to educate myself.
It seems to be in winter solstice to celebrate Sol god. Or more recentyle in northern europe, to celebrate Norse god Odin. Julius Ceasar declared winter solstice to be December 25th at 46 BCE. Though atleast here at northern we celebrate it at 24th.
From 13th century Iceland books:
Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, some of which describe his appearance or functions. These include Síðgrani, Síðskeggr, Langbarðr, (all meaning "long beard") and Jólnir ("Yule figure").
According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy. This practice, survived in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization
Reindeers are from 1823 poem about St. Nicholas. Also some have made comparisons to Odins 8 legged horse that could leap distances.
Saint Nicholas on December 6 came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts. In 16th-17th century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, and the date for giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.
Christmas tree tradition is from Estonia and Germany from 15th and 16th century. Church banned gift giving in middle ages, and then retracted and attributed it to Saint Nicholas.
According to gospel of Luke (luke 1:5) Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great and when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. That means he born before 4 BC or around AD 6-7. According to John 8:57 he born around 18 BC. If they cant be sure about the year, I cant be sure they nailed Jesus' birth date aswell.
To me, it really doesn't matter anymore for which god the christmas belongs to. It's a great world-wide holiday. It just annoys me a bit when I see christians trying to tell others who can celebrate it.
Btw. I just scratched the issue but I gotta read up on Norse mythology more, just to understand my roots better. (Moon's day, Tyr's day, Odin's day, Thor's day, Freyja's day, Washing day, Sun's day)