Predominantly Muslim lands also promote Christmaslike festivities, although not necessarily on December 25. In Ankara, Turkey, and Beirut, Lebanon, it is not unusual to see shop windows dressed with tinsel-covered evergreens and giftwrapped packages. In Indonesia, hotels and malls sponsor festive events, and children can dine with Santa or have their picture taken with him.
In Western lands, Christmas is now largely secular and commercial, with many ads “blatantly pitched at children,” said Canada’s Royal Bank Letter. Granted, some people still attend Christmas services at a church. But it is the shopping malls, resonating with carols, that have become the new temples. Why the change? Could the reason be connected with the origin of Christmas? What are its roots?
Before discussing such questions, it would be good to read the Bible accounts on which Christmas Nativity scenes are supposedly based.