Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Happy Holidays" ?

That seems to be the Christmas greeting at stores, staff trained to be PC. We had Hanukkah already... we didn't call it anything else did we? What else have we got happening? Kwanzaa? Not too many folks celebrating that, although store clerks could easily be trained to wish people who MAY celebrate that a "Happy Kwanzaa"... unless there is a fear of racial profiling.

It's CHRISTmas.

I'm OK with people NOT celebrating, or choosing to take what they want from it (a tree, a fat guy with a red suit, exchanging gifts) but why must we dumb it down to remove the word Christ from it?

"Winter concert", "festival of lights", and whatever other names we could summon aren't found on the calendar I own... yours? A Festival tree, a multicultural tree, a Hanukkah bush... STOP already.

I'm not offended by anyone elses beliefs. They shouldn't have to fear celebrating whatever they like, so why should the (second) most important date on the Christian Calendar be white washed of the name?

Ya, I know, "Christ wasn't even born that day". But it is when we celebrate it for various historical reasons. I know, the tree was assimilated into Christmas from the Romans pre Christ to celebrate the winter solstice.

You can have the tree and the ornaments, you can (if you need to) take it back, especially if your an ancient pagan and you want your holiday celebration returned to you, but leave Christmas alone. You can't have it...

... but you can. It's a weird religion. It's open to anyone who wants to join. Sure, there are tenets you are expected to adhere to, but there are no racial barriers, no need to be "born" in. No "levels" to attain before being told about the fundamentals. No secret handshake, or needing to be "sponsored in" by someone who'll vouch for you. No one cares where you've been or what you've done (at least not in places where they "get it"), you're welcome.

Maybe that's the problem. It's so easy. It's not sexy. It's not prestigious. It's simple, despite our best efforts to make it complicated.

Review. (Lets' just say you're inclined to believe the following for a sec, K?) A baby is born, homeless, under an oppressive regime occupying the land. He's the child of a carpenter... (blue collar, a skilled trades man, but not likely heavily laden with coin), and the first visitors are guys who were living in a field with livestock. Seems pretty humble. Seems pretty simple. Seems almost "sad".

We (in a royal sense) build magnificent cathedrals where we have nativity scenes carved out of wood and/or stone, stained glass windows retelling the story, fresco walls and ceilings showing a happy child with a glow about him, making the whole event pretty "special" visually. Go up a paragraph and see it for what it was. A shit filled animal stall, with a kid who was laid in a feed trough. Some cow dropping it's scat in the background... pigs squeeling... nice huh?

The "wise men" didn't come till later if you check the "real" story. The star arrived at the birth... they followed it, possibly for a few years. A LONG camel ride from the east. Back then, "the east" didn't mean Transcona. Take a look on a map, find Babylon... ahem, sorry... Baghdad and check out the route. The "Magi" were astronomers. These guys watched the planets and the stars. The alignment of the planets (likely) sent them looking. These guys REALLY were able to read the stars. ( as opposed to todays typical horoscope pages). We figure there were three guys because they brought three gifts. Fact is, there's no specific number of men mentioned as the "came to the house" and saw the baby (previously mentioned, now a toddler) with his mother.

We don't know if this was a rental, but clearly Joseph decided to stay in Bethlehem for a while after the census. Any way, the "wise men" leave after tricking an illegitimate "king" named Herod, who then murdered all the babies in the city under two years old, but not before Joseph awoke from a dream. He was instructed to pack his stuff, and leave to (of all places) Egypt. (Remember the story of Moses and the slavery... ?) He did. He packed all the stuff they could carry (which wasn't much) and went to Egypt, leaving his clients, his business, likely his tools...(again), behind. Good thing they had that gold they got as a gift. It was going to come in handy. Gold speaks Egyptian, even if Joseph didn't.

Anyway, it's about a baby. Christ. A character who has been divisive and "trouble" since he stayed at the temple at the age of about 12. I never said it was all about peace and love. Christianity has had it's issues... all as a result of men who didn't "get it".

It's not forced down anyone's throat, but I do wish you a Merry Christmas.

For to us a child has come, to us a son is given; and the government has been placed in his hands; and he has been named Wise Guide, Strong God, Father for ever, Prince of Peace.

1 comment:

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