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December 25 2012
When you gather around the Christmas tree or stuff goodies into a stocking, you're taking part in traditions that stretch back thousands of years — long before Christianity entered the mix.
Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesus' nativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals. Since then, Christmas traditions have warped over time, arriving at their current state a little more than a century ago.
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