Daily Prompt for December 19 …
The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already?
Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?
The “holiday season”? As in “holy-day season”? Well it’s a bit of a misnomer, isn’t it, no matter which.
“Holiday” as in a day for goofing off and playing around, enjoying company with family and friends, shouldn’t need a special season. Surely we can do that at any time of year.
And “holy-day” – well, that is debatable. It is Nothing to do with either the birth of Christ, nor with the stock market driven celebration of a coca-cola advertisement.
In case you’ve not noticed, the New Testament gives a couple of clear clues that the Northern hemisphere’s winter was not the season of Christ’s birth. Firstly – Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem with his wife (his property) to the town of his family/birth, for the Roman Empire’s census. Which would have been held in a warmer season, to ensure people could travel. Not in winter, when snows could cut off passes and prevent those who would be paying taxes to Rome from being counted. Secondly – think about where the angel found the shepherds – up in the hills. That only happened when the hills were covered with herbage for fodder – not in winter. Add to this that although there was no room any where for Joseph and Mary except for the stable, which ion winter would be full of cattle, goats or sheep. The stables were the ground floor, which in winter being full of animals would give off their body heat for the upper living areas.
So, nope, I cannot accept December as the correct month. Especially as we can also find that when Rome caught onto the fad of following the teachings of Christ, and realised it’s commercial worth to a Roman central church, they had to firstly convert the outlying nations of the value of conversion. So the Winter Solstice, the annual “heathen” midwinter festival, complete with fire, yule logs, holly and ivy… that’ll do – call that Christ’s birthday!
Now I admit there was an historical record of a saint who on hearing of a man whose two daughters had no dowry and so would not be invited to wed, tossed two coins (gold, the legend says, so I’ll accept that for now – it’s what I grew up ‘knowing’) into the house. That was Saint Nicholas. Now whether he threw the coins down the chimney – a pretty amazing shot from the ground outside a house (which basketball player could do that, now) – or through an open window, or an open door – who knows or cares? It depends on who’s telling you the legend.
Saint Nickolas was known as Saint Nick (my church vicar used to shudder at that one – to him St Nick was the devil. I never did work out how come that.) or Sinter Klaus or other variations. He was depicted as wearing a green robe, with a hood, and carried a crook.
And from that advertisement came a host of lairy legends.
He flies around the world in a night. Has any one mentioned this to Stephen Hawkings? I’d bet he’d be quite amused!
He flies in a dirty great sleigh, pulled by a herd of reindeer. I know two who must laugh themselves silly at that one – Richard Branson, and David Attenborough!
He keeps a list of which children have been naughty since the last time he visited, and who’s been naughty. Has the dirty old man got fellas out perving at our kids all year? Maybe some of those child-sized elves who make all the toys – under contract to Mattel among others.
He comes down the chimney on christmas eve – so… his suit must be re-eally filthy by night’s end.
Worse – in some places he comes into the child’s bedroom!
He leaves gifts for children – whose parents have already bust a wallet buying all that’s on their child’s wishlist. Or what they can afford. How many young girls asked Chain Store Santa for a Barbie and he leaves them a clone or lookalike?
There was a time when a child hung a stocking on the mantelpiece over the fireplace. These days a flaming pillow case still isn’t big enough for what the greedy little beggars have begged for.
Now, I’ll admit – as a child, Xmas was a fearsomely lovely time. And I made it so for my own children. Until one spoiled it for the family by opening her gifts and moaning “Huh, is that all you got me”. That sort of took the fun out of it.
But we still all come together as a family – just “because”. They live in three parts of the country, and once a year we see them together. All I ask of them is one photograph of the three of them side-by-side on the sofa – smiling, damn you – smiling!
We do the tree thing – but I cock a snoot at those who think it’s Christ’s birthday, religious, or want evergreen trees and holly berries, fake icicles and snow, a fecking star of Bethlehem on the tree.
The tree is fake, and black. No lights. decorations are white (okay, fake silver) and red.
No cookies or milk set out for fatso. We’re all grown ups here. We buy a token of love for each other – and That is more than enough.