Human Nature, & the “War on Christmas”

"Sunshine on the water / looks so lovely..."

“Sun, sun, sun, here it comes!”

We’re a boastful species. Perhaps other animals are, too. Whilst some Western women ask: “Does my bum look big in this?”, maybe certain baboons are saying to each other: “Ha ha, my ass is redder than your arse!”

I’m okay with this, in measured doses. After all, it’s not as though I’m not proud of my achievements. (1)

Something which does get my Yule Goat (2) is this “my holiday is bigger and better than your holiday” business. Aka, the “War on Christmas”.

If anyone is bombing US Nativity scenes, or beating Americans up for attending midnight mass, or carol services, well, it’s failed to come to my attention. I understand there are places where people are persecuted for their Christian faith. And that makes me sad, and angry … though no sadder or angrier than when this happens to people of any faith.

But that’s not what the “War on Christmas” slogan appears to be about. I say “appears” because I don’t remember it from when I lived in the States. It’s one of America’s more recent, nonsensical  inventions, along with the so-called “Tea Party”. (3)

A slight diversion now, whilst I indulge in a spot of “my holiday is older than your holiday”.

I wrote this whilst waiting for the sun to rise, so I could take some photos. The sun wasn’t up til gone eight. It sets around a quarter to four.

Today is the shortest day (4). Which means that, starting tomorrow, the days will be getting longer, and the light will be returning to the land.

Christmas, according to many scholars, isn’t technically the date of Jesus’ birth. The early Christians decided on 25 December because, some say, this is the birthday of  Mithras, the Persian god form who became a big hit with the Roman army. (5)

Honestly, so what? The need to celebrate – to feast, exchange gifts, decorate, sing, whatever – at this time of year seems pretty well ingrained in us human beasties.

Because we all need something to get us through the cold and dark, and back to the warmth, and the light.

So enjoy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, etc., etc. And/or Christmas, whether secular, religious, or a bit of both.

And enjoy the Winter Solstice, too. Because if the sun stops doing its bit, the other festivals really aren’t going to matter much. (6)

I love Jethro Tull’s “Solstice Bells“, and will be giving it a big kick up the stereo later today. But at some point, this song also deserves a play.

It’s solar, and this is a solar festival. And it’s happy, and written and performed by a man who was happy with his faith … one neither Christian, nor Pagan.

Respect, George Harrison. Whilst you apparently spent part of your days preparing for death, it didn’t stop you from creating.

From living.

“Here comes the sun,

and I say,

it’s all right … “

Ring out those bells. We made it, again!

This morning, 21 December 2014

This morning, 21 December 2014

(1) Which, on bad days, may consist of getting out of bed, and dragging my arse to the shop. Because on those days, that is an achievement.

(2) Yes, Virginia, there is a Yule Goat. Look it up, you’re on the internet.

(3) A Tea Party without tea, cakes, cucumber sandwiches, or delightful conversation is like a day without sunshine. Or tea, cake, etc.

(4) Unless you’re somewhere like Australia. In which case, enjoy the Summer Solstice.

(5) In some alternative universe, most of the population are celebrating Mithrastime.

(6) Unless of course your religion is big on the end of the world, Judgement Day, and other such fun concepts.

 

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About Sheila North

I am an author and ex-journalist, who has written novels, short stories, and poems. I also help facilitate a writers' group. Check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-North/
This entry was posted in Holiday!, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Human Nature, & the “War on Christmas”

  1. blahpolar says:

    Boastful animals made me think of birds 🙂

  2. sjn25 says:

    I have now! No idea what they look like or where they hang out.I’m betting they’re the bragging kind of birdie though.

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