Posted by Exile on December 1, 2007
Yay! It’s Christmas month. Time to empty my piggy bank and see how much I put aside this last year to buy presents for people who don’t need what I buy for them and have my sock drawer filled up again. Decoration of the house and home is in full swing and my dear wife has begun the process of Christmasifying the living space that we call home. She loves this festival.
So do I, but perhaps, for different reasons than most.
Not being the terribly religious type, I tend to go back to my celtic roots and look forward to the turning of the year. I long for the sunshine again. I celebrate the shortest day of the year and the return of the good weather. This is what used to be celebrated in the days before the Christians held all the power and realised, that if they wanted to maintain it, they would have to invent some religious festival in its place. So Christmas was born. Not Christ. Christmas. The two are otherwise unrelated. The Christmas we celebrate now is a replacement for the paegan festival that went on at the winter solstice. Just as Easter is the replacement for the fertility festival in spring. About the only calendar related festival that didn’t get altered by christianity is the harvest festival in the autumn. I suppose it would be logical for the church and the people they were trying to convert to assume that Jebus was born around the end of the year. The fertility orgies went on at the end of March. A week of drunken fornication. Add nine months, and see where it brings you. There were many children born in the dark nights at the end of the year.
I can remember, as a child, Christmas lasted a week. From Christmas eve to new years day. One long public holiday. Not any more. We work now until midday christmas eve, have Christmas day and boxing day off, and then back to work again until new years eve. New years day is always a free day. The machinations of big business, and big profit, cannot tolerate our collectively having a freebie seven days off at any time of the year. Joyous occasion? No. Merely a disruption in the middle of a business week.
This year, it started early. Already in October, there were christmassy things in the shops. October! Obviously the profit hungry are trying to expand their boom time. Let’s face it, this time of the year is their best time. And they know it. Everything goes up in price by ten percent at least, only to fall again to half the December asking price in the January, post Christmas, sales. Ever felt cheated? I do. Every year. A clever man would wait until January to buy Christmas gifts. The savings are enormous. So think of the profit mark-up. We’re being had, and we don’t care, because it’s Christmas. Why do you suppose the store Santa is saying Ho-Ho-Ho?
Channuka is the Jewish alternative. I know very little about how they celebrate their winter festival, but it has something to do with a menorah and candles. This cannot come as a surprise. Ever heard the term Judeo-christian? It denotes a common heritage somewhere.
I realise that some of the dyed-in-the-wool believers out there are going to disagree with my way of viewing this annual public madness. Christmas affects everyone, no matter what religion they subscribe to. If for no other reason, than that the shops are shut for two days. I do not subscribe to the religious aspects of it all. The original party with all the best food that was left before it rotted, all the beer and mead and the old paegan decorations with holly and mistletoe and all that jazz, was hijacked and made false in the name of a power hungry church. It is now being hijacked again by a profit hungry economy. Even Father Christmas, Santa Claus himself, was hijacked, by Coca-cola. His original clothing was green, not Coca-cola label red. Amazing what advertising can do.
Oh, by the way, about this “peace on earth and goodwill to all men” business? Ain’t gonna happen. Forget it.
White Christmas? No. Global warming will put an end to that, due to the increased activity of the sun. No. It has nothing to do with CO2. That is merely another excuse to raise prices, taxes and all other things economic and fuel the growing global warming industry.
But don’t worry. The year will turn. The spring sunshine will return after the years shortest day and the crops will grow again. There will be food, and sunshine and warm summer days. Long evenings and light nights. These are the real gifts that the winter solstice brings. Priceless! That’s what I’ll be celebrating.
Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy your day off.