Posts tagged holiday

Valentine Rant Memories

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A few years ago my brother wrote this gem for Valentine’s day:

I am so glad its Valentines day again. The one day when all the couples in the world pretend to be in love. I’m pretty sure that love is found only on Valentines day. The other 364 days of the year, we can all just go back to hating our partners, and planning how we can survive till next Valentines day without smothering our partner in their sleep with the decorative pillow that everyone hates. I’m so thankful that Hallmark and Sees invented this great holiday, where couples must buy each other material items in order to show how much they are in love for one day.
Because we all know it, when you are in love the only way to show it is with fancy diamonds, and a rolex.

This morning I was thinking about this and remembered how his girlfriend responded. Troy showed her the post, and she laughed and said it was really good. Then she asked who wrote it, and of course got mad when he said that it was him.

Constantine Undone

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So, I might have this part of the Christmas history wrong, but this is the version I heard:

The early Christians celebrated Jesus’s birth on January 6th. I don’t know how it ended up on that day, so that can be for a different story. In this story Constantine was Rome’s emperor and got converted to Christianity and decided that everyone else should do the same. So he took a popular “pagan” holiday for the winter solstice that was held on the 25th of December and combined it with the Christian holiday to make a big 12-day-long holiday for Christmas, hoping that everyone would start celebrating the Christian holiday instead.

I don’t really know how successful Constantine was, because he definitely got us to celebrate Christmas, but I’m not sure if it’s still a Christian holiday. How much of our Christmas tradition has anything to do with Christ? I think we’ve just created our own “pagan” holiday with its own associated religion, complete with Santa Claus as its principle god.

You might think that even as heavy of an emphasis as we put on Santa doesn’t constitute deity or religion, but consider the ideas surrounding Santa. He sees the actions of every person on Earth. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. He rewards good behavior. He knows the desires of your heart, even the unspoken ones, and has the power to fulfill those desires with little “Christmas miracles”. He not only has power to grant wishes, but also to fly, to visit the whole world in one night, and to slide down any size of chimney. He basically controls time and space. We have turned Santa Claus into a benevolent, all-knowing and all-powerful god.

Of course it’s not just Santa in the pantheon of our Christmas paganism. We’ve got other minor deities like Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and even Baby Jesus. (Not grown-up Jesus, though. Christmas isn’t about him.) Of course you have to be careful about how much you talk about Baby Jesus during Christmas. You don’t want to offend anyone. It’s safer to stick to Santa.

Of course it’s no big secret that Christmas has been commercialized and that people get too caught up in the greed of the season. I do appreciate when people try to remind us of “the real meaning of Christmas”, but even these reminders seem to focus on good messages that can be appreciated without regards to any particular religion. Lots of talk of “peace” and “good will” while carefully not quoting the source.

I’m really just making an observation. Despite the effort to bring Christianity to the masses by creating Christmas, it still isn’t a Christian holiday.

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