I just posted a brief paper written for Three Mountain’s 2015 Yule. The class is meant to address the secular celebratory rituals of December 25th before the 5th century, not any religious or sacred issues.
Many of the Yuletime traditions we observe actually date back to Saturnalia. It’s fascinating to me how many of our current traditions have persisted for two thousand years. Look for a future paper on the Roman origin of wedding rituals… The Empire may have fallen, but we are still enacting a surprising number of Roman memes.
Read the History of Christmas!
Bonus video (not by me): The VII Days of Saturnalia! (Dec 17-23)