During this time, in Ole Europe, one of the beliefs of the twelve darkness nights ( December 25 to January 6) it wasn't just the Night Rider, but witches and other dark spirits flitted around the winter night skies.
Fearing the harm these night creature would do, people would burn bundles of hay at night to keep the night creatures at bay. Fires were burned in the hearth to prevent witches and the night rider from coming down the chimney. In Norway, for example, brooms were hidden away so witches couldn't ride off on them.
Thus the broom closet.
The Romans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17 and 25, the 25th being celebrated as Children's Day. Because Rome ruled thethen known world during the time of Messiah's birth, many of these pagans customs would find their way to Israel, where the Hebrews would find themselves hard pressed to keep the pagan elements out of their homes, lives, even in their worship.
So how did these various customs and traditions become what we know as Christmas?
Well, the first 300 hundred after the death of Messiah,, there was no celebrations of Messiah's birth. In fact, the central message was the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah.
Not His birth. Nowhere in the scriptures do you find the Apostles including the birth of Messiah in their message. It was the Man from Nazareth, not the Babe born in Bethlehem, that men and women sought and followed. The followers of the Nazarene were known as Nazarenes and still regarded as part of the Jewish community.
But then came the Council of Nicaea.