Well, the shepherds were not likely out in the fields watching sheep on December 25. That may be true. But when the Christians were presenting the religion to the Romans, they adopted Saturnalia as the day to honor the birth of Christ.
Why Saturnalia? It was the Romans’ happiest day of the year. This was when everyone adorned their Domus or homes with candles, holly, ivy, ribbons, and enjoy eating, drinking, and partying with friends.
Saturnalia started on December 17 and continued to December 25th when everyone partied hardy. First, the mode of business was the selection of the ‘Lord of Misrule’ or Saturnalicus princeps when someone other than the dominus or master of the house rules everyone’s life over the coming days…including the dominus.
I believe this is much like the winner of the ‘king cake’ during Mardi Gras. He becomes the master of fun when the slaves were granted time off from their work when gambling is allowed, and gifts were given to all.
The dominus and domina would then present their slaves with money, clothing, special gifts for their service as well as their clients and friends.
I truly enjoyed writing this scene when Lugh is chosen as the Master of Misrule. He was perfect for this role because Lugh never acts appropriately even on a normal day. Plus, Lugh enjoys playing his ‘bagpipe’ to everyone’s displeasure. He drives them nuts and has Julius serving everyone. It was fun to write this. I think you will enjoy this holiday scene in Rage, book two of my Red Fury series, and I am starting the editing stage