Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas...Seriously.

It's Christmas Eve, 2007. It's quiet here at work so I thought I'd take a second to thank you, whoever you are who stops in to read my ramblings. I hope that I amuse you.

I'm not religious in the standard definition of the word, I'm an Episcopalian but I haven't been to church in years. I worked in a Toy Store for 17 years and I have a jaded view of the holiday season, the only thing that got me through each year was the kids and their amazing sense of wondrous excitement. I suffer from depression during the holidays, mostly because of my small income and the commercialization that reminds me of how much money I don't have. Still, I manage to get through it without ruining it for other people. Which is something that a growing group of assholes really needs to learn how to do. I'm talking about the various anti-Christmas activist-types.

I'm not talking about the Nazis at the ACLU pushing holiday displays off of government property, I'm talking about the dorks who protest everything about Christmas. Who are these people anyway? What could they possibly protest about Christmas? I'm pretty sure that they are simpletons assholes who just hate everyone. Just look at Christmas itself...

The holiday is based around the birth of Jesus Christ, in Christianity it's a distant second to Easter in importance. It's the J-Man's death on the cross that set him apart and not his birth. Some folks argue about the Gospels and how the Nativity is only covered in one of them; others point out that Jesus was born in July and there's all kinds of imagery that's open to debate from being born in a stable to the Star of David. Most all of this hoohaw misses the point of Christmas, which is to take a day and think about your fellow man for a second, lay down your arms for a few hours and help those less fortunate than yourself. Before Jesus, most religious holidays were based on fear and had a terrifying story at their base. The birth of Christ is about the hope of PEACE and a call to love your neighbor.

What kind of piece of human shit would protest that?

That question answered itself.

Anyway, to those of you who don't suck, Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Kemberlee said...

Merry Xmas MGF! Since I found your blog I've enjoyed keeping up to date on what's going on in your life. You ever going to email me again?

Actually, Jesus was said to have been born when the lambs were in the fields, which is April to October. Jesus was known to be half a year younger than John the Baptist, who was born in late April. His mother Elizabeth was close friends with Mary. Mary visited Elizabeth on the birth of her son to tell her the angel Gabriel came to tell her that she would also have a son. As John is six months older, this puts Jesus's birth sometime between late September/early October. This is said in the bible.

When citizens were called to Palestine to pay their taxes it would have been too cold to ask so many people to travel in December. This would have taken place in the summer or fall months. Jesus was 33.5 years old when he died, which was April. Going forward or back by six months takes us back to late September/early October as the birth date.

It wasn't until the 4th century when Christianity started to spread worldwide that Jesus's birth became such an issue. It was during that time when priests began spreading the word of the One God around Europe. Those priests were eventually St Patrick in Ireland, St David in Wales, St Andrew in Scotland, St George in Britain, etc. This included Nicholas from Turkey who became St Nicholas, aka St Nick, aka Santa Claus.

During the 4th and 5th centuries priests merged pagan holidays with Christian ones in order to convert "heathens" to Christianity. It was easy to tell people their gods' festival days coincided with Christian festivals, even if they were months off. The people didn't know any better so it was easy to convert them. For example...Bealtaine became May Day (1 May), Samhain became Halloween/All Souls Night (31 Oct) , St Bridget's Day became Groundhog Day (2 Feb), Paschal Day become Easter etc.

The date chosen to celebrate Christmas stems from a few things, one of which was that sometime around 25 December was the date of the birth of the sun god, one of the Pagan gods.

Another revolves around the legend of St Nicholas. Nicholas was born into a wealthy family as an only child in Lycia (Turkey) sometime in the 3rd century. His birth date is disputed but date of death is accurate...6 December. He was somewhere between 95-100 years old when he died! 6 December became known as the Feast of St Nicholas after his canonization and is still celebrated around the world. In much of Europe the 6th is the day the tree goes up. And in Germany, on the night of the 6th, boots and shoes are put on the front steps of homes in hopes that Nicholas will put a gift in them.

On a side note: Nicholas was interred at a church in Demre, Turkey, but it was while retreating during the Crusades that the Knights of Jerpoint removed St Nicholas's body from his tomb and reburied his bones in what became the Church of St. Nicholas at Jerpoint Abbey in southeastern Ireland. They did this to protect the saint. Every year at Xmas time, a special mass is said in the Church of St Nicholas. In fact, there are more churches around the world dedicated to St Nicholas than any other saint.

When Christian priests were converting pagans from the 4th century, they were told that Nicholas's birth coincided with that of their sun god who was said to be born on or around 25 December...and it was the 25th that a mass for Christ was celebrated...Christ's mass became Christmas... and over the centuries the legend of St Nick and Christmas evolved to what we celebrate today. And we've just accepted that Jesus was born on that day because that's what we've been told for centuries, even if there is absolutely no proof to the fact.

I agree with your sentiments about the season. We need to spend more time thinking about others and less about ourselves, and how we as individuals can make a difference in the world. But not just for one day or one week, but all year.

I hope you've been having a peaceful holiday season.