Why Is Christmas on December 25?

 

Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25? Two conflicting positions:

One: To “commandeer the date [that pagans used for their festivals] and introduce a new festival.” Is this a bad thing? No, “for the church has generally viewed efforts to reshape culture—including holidays—positively.”  So says Elesha Coffman.

Two: “Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to  create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.” So says William J. Tighe.

So who is correct, if either?

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