Winter solstice festivities existed long before the birth of Christ. To liven things up on the shortest day of the year, people partied. Christians, seeing the party already started, decided to jump aboard and co-opt the celebration by saying it was a religious holiday. This gave them air cover. They could now justify their imbibing of spirits as, well, spiritual. Want to make the faith interesting? Keep Christ in April 24. Or any other lonely day on the calendar that's got nothing going for it.
Mark Morelli is a New York Times Bestseller reader.