Dr. William Tighe has a fascinating article on Touchstone—“Calculating Christmas.” Tighe argues that the dating of Christmas on December 25 has nothing to do with the pagan celebrations of the solstice, Saturnalia, or Sol Invictus. Rather, he states that there was a Jewish belief that a prophet died on the day of his conception that Christians inherited. Tighe shows that Christians in the early centuries tried to figure out the solar calendar date for the crucifixion. In the West, March 25 became the favored date, which then determined the feasts of the Annunciation (Jesus’ conception) and of Christmas nine months later. If Tighe is right, then the tendency to attribute December 25 to the Christians’ appropriating a pagan festive season is poor historical scholarship—like a nineteenth century version of the Discovery Channel.