Yeah, I had a history professor that I particularly enjoyed who liked to show how control mechanisms of different religions and physical constraints molded societies as they grew. The Christmas takeaway is that my wife and I try to make things better for someone else.
This year my wife's cousins were having a Christmas Eve party so we bought 10 lbs of Italian sausage (they're all of Sicilian decent.) They canceled the party Thursday night. We found a food pantry that would accept perishable food and donated the sausage to them. They seemed happy to get it and it made us feel good so I guess it all worked out in the end. That makes us good pagans? Cool! I'm up for it!