For the remainder of the Christmas season I am boycotting politics (unless Donald Trump get even more outrageous) and will think atheistically happy thoughts. The English language has a staggering array of words for the winter solstice season and traditions.
It was a 12 day celebration and the source for the Twelve Days of Christmas tradition that is inexplicable under the Catholic calendar. There was drinking, feasting, and probably more than a little whoring.
No one knows the exact origin of the Yule Log but it probably came from the tradition of lighting a fire to keep warm. Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.
In recent years, influenced by American businesses, Boxing Day has been turned into a Black Friday-like shopping day when low income workers are encouraged to go into staggering debt buying useless garbage to the greater profit of their bosses.
Wander most neighborhoods in America and you will find all sorts of nativity scenes - religious themed, cartoon character themed, serious representations and comic displays. In Sycamore, Ohio, a man designed a front yard nativity where the shepherds and and wise men were skeletal wraiths and baby Jesus was a demonic child. The local government has declared the creche a "zoning violation" even though similar but more reverent depictions are given a pass. He is being fined $500 a day for his blasphemy.