Episode 52: Christmas

On this very merry episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we discuss Christmas. But it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t dig back the layers and come to some strange and ugly truths about the holiday that is associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. You may think this topic is a no brainer (a recent Pew Poll showed that 65% of Americans believe the Christmas story to be true), but be prepared to learn some odd truths about this beloved holiday. For one thing, the origins of the holiday and how it is celebrated date back to ancient pagan rites and were only adopted by the Catholic Church as a way to lure pagans to church membership. That’s right: gingerbread cookies, the Yule Log, a Christmas ham, Christmas trees, all of it tie back to Germanic and Norse pagans and were part of a celebration of fertility and reverence for the dead.

Also, we look at Santa Claus, the truth of the real man named Saint Nicholas of Parara, how his bones were stolen by sailors and moved to start the Cult of Nicholas in the 11th century, and how Siberian shamen tripping on amanita muscaria mushrooms may be the birth of the red-suited reindeer part of the myth. You may have also heard about Krampus, Zwarte Pete, and the ancient feast of Saturnalia, but we talk about some crazy facts that you might not believe. Lastly, we discuss the birth of Jesus and the Nativity itself (something that Pope Benedict XVI largely even denounced when he was the head of the church a few years ago). So, be prepared to get your Christmas bubble burst and learn how you are actually a pagan, how Santa was an anti-Semite, and how gingerbread cookies are a way to symbolically eat human flesh to venerate the dead.

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