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Happy… Christmas? Holidays? Winter?

December 22, 2010

Let’s face it, I have no particularly wonderful words of wisdom right now.  My wisdom (not to mention my ability to think, period, is on the blitz a little bit right now.  But that certainly won’t stop me today.  😀

Because I am Christian (hey, people who are LDS are actually Christian!  Who’d have thunk it?), I do celebrate Christmas.  And I’ve decided to justify a Christmas post (mostly because I can’t think of a politically correct way of putting it.  A holiday post, if you like).  Just for today.

There are some people who will tell you that historically Christ would have been born around the time of April.  Which is completely true, by the way.  What we call Christmas in December apparently used to be a “pagan” holiday, my guess is that it was meant to celebrate the winter solstice.  Of course, I’m not sure.  I’m not researching this as I go, this is completely off the top of my head.  Which irritates my scholarly sensibilities (No!  Everything– must– be– RESEARCHED!), but I’m doing it anyhow. 

Anyhow… Winter Solstice.

So apparently what early Christians did is they came up with the idea of changing the time of the celebration of Christmas to match the pagan celebration.  Apparently it was meant mostly to help convert the pagans to Christianity, but I think it might have had a few side effects.  Like how we put up Christmas trees and have wreaths on our doors.  Pretty sure coniferous trees and lovely-smelly-pine-needles all over the floor are not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.  New or Old Testament. And yes, I have checked.  🙂  But I honestly have no objection to either.  Matter of fact, putting lights on the tree used to be my favorite part of the whole holiday.  Really, it’s not hard to believe coming from me.  Gloriously smelly tree + bright strings of lights = me and my sort-of ADHD going “SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!”

But if you think about it, it was honestly a pretty brilliant idea.  And somewhere along the way, I can’t help but think that it must have been a huge act of tolerance on both sides.  I mean, they probably had a couple people on both sides yelling “burn that evil sign of the heathen god!  Burn that tree!” and “Stop this nativity scene re-enactment IMMEDIATELY!”  But somewhere along the way, there were enough people that got together and started infecting each other with all of their traditions.   There were enough people slipping along frozen sidewalks carrying gooey delicious treats and knocking on people’s doors to wish them Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, and all of that good stuff, that everyone started to do it.  And yes, I do realize that most people probably did not have or use sidewalks at that point in time.  The historical availability of concrete is definitely not my area of expertise.  But nonetheless, I think that it’s really pretty amazing.

So I think I will infringe on another Rock-Pooler’s brilliance, tolerance, and general knowledge of winter holidays and say:

Late Happy Hannukah, Blessed Muharram, Blessed Day of Ashura, an on-time Happy Yule, and an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s to all! And to all a good night! 😉  (Thank you Noor!)
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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 2:09 am

    Oh joy joy joy to this post! I have long heard of the connections between Christian holidays (like Easter, too I think) and paganism and really… I have no problem with it! I agree with you that the two holidays mushed together is indicative of a deeper meaning and an impressive bit of maneuvering for this to have come to pass. I’m cool with that. We celebrated Solstice today with a campfire, marshmallows, hot cocoa, a few friends, and gifts of homemade seed cakes for the critters we share our yard with. In a few days we’ll celebrate Christmas, Jesus, family and togetherness. 🙂

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