Tag Archives: Christmas

The Reason for The Season? Whatever You Want.

Last week, the darling man forwarded a meme laden Christmas spam letter. He and I had a lot of fun tearing apart the various little logical fallacies and appeals to emotion contained therein (I’ll go ahead and post it below). One of the things that struck me was how HARD the person who originally wrote this (if it wasn’t just spit out by some meme machine) tried to convey their outrage at their holiday being trampled… TRAMPLED I TELL YOU!… by the godless heathens who wanted their mid-winter holiday acknowledged, too. ‘IT ISN’T FAIR!’ the email seems to be screeching. They appear to be under the impression that by recognizing other cultures and religions, that somehow translates into THEIR religion being completely ignored.

First amendment aside (you remember. The one that says all religions are equally valid in the eyes of the law?), it’s a pretty selfish, uncharitable and distinctly un-Christian attitude to take. Jesus’ birth (which took place ’round about April for those of us able to count) was not the first mid-winter holiday. Nor did it supplant all others. We live in an amazing, wonderful time and place in which everyone is able to celebrate their own chosen mid-winter festival, whether it’s Christmas or any one of many others like the solstice, Modranect, Diwali, Yule, Sadeh, Rosh Hashana, the Saturnalia or even Festivus with the Costanzas. Whichever of these anyone celebrates, it is because it’s what is meaningful to them, not out of some desire to stomp all over someone else’s celebration. So have a cup of egg nog, kiss under the (pagan) mistletoe and get over yourselves already.

The email (complete with my and the dm’s responses):

Twas the Month Before Christmas

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*

Give me a freakin’ break. Nobody takes a stand or jerks their knees *faster* than the “Christians.” If they even remotely perceive their precious traditions or “values” are being infringed upon, they start screaming from the rooftops about their rights and how they’re being “overrun,” despite being 85% of the population. I guess the “Christian” value of “sharing” just sort of fell by the wayside…

*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas – no one could say.*
Which is? Ditto. Cite?

*The children were told by their schools not to sing*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

Let us make this perfectly clear. NO ONE is told they cannot pray in school. They are told they cannot lead others in prayer, and that the schools cannot endorse any religion. THAT is the state espousing one particular religion over others, and THAT is against the first amendment. Were the school or teachers to expect children to read from the Torah, wouldn’t you be howling the place down? However. For the sake of clarity, please see Everson v. Board of Education, here: http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/eclause1.htm

*It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say*

And this isn’t because Christians are having their feelings hurt? Well. Only Christian feelings matter, after all…..everyone else is just a heathen…

* December 25th is just a ” Holiday “.*

It’s one of many…  isn’t it? And, not even the original mid-winter holiday. But that’s not important right now….

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

Makes you wonder where all the “Christians” who shop at Wal Mart got to…..

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

So…  this is a libr’l thing? Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot is one of my favorite books….

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

Do they get that the trees are a cultural symbol and not a religious one?  (Pagan tradition trumped again) OMG!! UPSIDE DOWN!?!?! Like an upside down cross??!! OH NOES!!

* At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears*
*You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.*

Dude! That totally sucks that they’re the only stores in the entire country we can shop at! And it’s, like, really, RILLY important to me that they not acknowledge other holidays, because my god is the bestest and they need to, like, totally acknowledge that instead of attempting to cater to as many customers as possible and bolster their bottom lines, even if they are corporations.

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me. *

They sound indignant… I hate it when people tell me to be all tolerant and stuff….Wait! What’d that guy in the New Testament say about tolerance? I forget….

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

Ah…  more libr’ls… Yeah, but c’mon… Wolf Blitzer gets on my last nerve, too.


*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

Because Democrats don’t have God on their side…. We have that scary science thing. We’re not allowed to have god. Apparently.

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

Isn’t this a bit of an over characterization? Sadly, yes. But considering they had to make it rhyme, and couldn’t come up with a good one for national policy, it stretches. Sorta.

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

Took it away?!?!  WTH??? Is your faith so flimsy that retailers not expressing your specific holiday sentiment will take it away?

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

By whom? When? Was the first amendment repealed and nobody told me?

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

Probably forgot to keep the receipt….


*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

Jesus’s birth?  I’m getting confused… Jesus wasn’t born now? He was. Just…not in December. I think Christians try very hard to ignore that. Let’s look at it logically (if that is for a moment possible). When Jesus was born, the shepherds were “watching over their flocks by night.” On the high steppes of Israel , there’s really only one time they do that, which is during lambing season, which is typically, y’know, Spring. Not December. The Eastern Orthodox church continued to reject Dec. 25th as “Christmas” til around 529 AD, and in 567, the Council of Tours proclaimed the 12 days from Dec. 25th to the epiphany as a “sacred season,” thus stepping all over the pagan mid-winter festival.

*So as you celebrate “Winter Break” under your “Dream Tree”*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me. *

So….it should be called a “Christmas tree,” right? Because, renaming it is wrong, and totally goes against what the true spirit of the holiday means? K. Do me a favor, too. Right now, before you do anything else. Go find a bible and look up Jeremiah, ch. 10 verses 1 through 5-ish, and see what Jesus said about hanging out with people who put trees in their homes in mid-winter. Then get back to me about how changing the name of something doesn’t change the intent. You don’t even wanna *know* what mistletoe used to get you. Kissed would be putting it mildly.

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !*

And show everyone that nobody’s allowed to have a holiday but Christians!!1!ELEVENTY!

Happy New Year, Everyone. Celebrate. The days are getting longer. I mean…for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I guess for people in Australia and New Zealand….ah, the hell with it.

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Atheists and Christmas

As I think I’ve shown thus far, there have been many “reason[s] for the season.” It bears repeating that Christmas is NOT the day Christ was born. In fact, it’s been debunked to death.  There’s only one point in the year when shepherds “watch over their flocks by night,” and it ain’ t the dead of winter. It’s lambing season, around April. We also know Joseph and Mary were on their way to Bethlehem to be taxed by the Romans, which didn’t happen til late spring. The date December 25th wasn’t even arrived at until the 4th century CE, and was mainly chosen because the church needed something equally important to rival the pagan festival of the Winter Solstice. What could possibly be more important than the birth of the savior? Perfect. The actual facts fudged for the more important “truth” of Ecumenical politics.  December 25th it is.

As a result, I have absolutely no problem celebrating Christmas as a generic, mid winter holiday. There are many reasons to celebrate. My children are happy, healthy and doing well in school. They’ve worked hard all year; they deserve the gifts they’re getting. They have time off, and we get to spend time making cookies, watching old movies and playing games together as a family. Family has come in from California to visit, making this holiday special. We are happy to have each other. Do we really need to impose another reason? Especially one that isn’t true anyway.

And despite what Bill O’Reilly froths, I really have nothing against Christmas at all. I’ve always been a huge fan. Tell me Merry Christmas; I don’ t mind. I enjoy the lights and the displays on my and the neighbors’ front lawns. I love decorating the tree (incidentally, for those Christians still reading, you should look up what Jesus said about keeping company with ‘pagans’ who keep trees in their houses during the winter festival) and the house. I throw myself into Christmas. It’s the one time of the year I forget all my cares and worries and just enjoy.

So, no. I don’t have a problem with Christmas. If anything, I think it’s a shame that not everyone celebrates it. I think we should remember the original reason for it: We all made it through the year alive, we all have our health, we have our family gathered close, and the days are going to start getting longer any time now. It’s come full circle and time to start again. Merry Christmas.

A Short History of Holiday Traditions, Part 1

So after coming back from my extended hiatus, I dropped over at the Atheist blogs list to see what was going on. Interestingly, Superjesus had posted a rather cool discussion about the origins of Christmas. Turns out the Europeans had that whole sun-worshiping thing going on.  And guess what? As it turns out, tonight is the winter solstice. The longest night of the year. You know. That time when the new god kills the old god and the days start getting longer and life comes back to the earth.

Yup. Pretty silly, backward, superstitious-y religion, that pagan stuff. It got me wondering. Just how many “Christian” holidays are actually derived, condensed and rearranged pagan myths set into the church’s uptight, joyless, sexless doctrine? Let’s count, shall we? The major ones, because otherwise we’d be here all damn year, and I got Christmas presents to wrap. I am to present wrapping what Lucretia Borgia was to modest virgin Catholicism.

St. Valentine’s Day. This was originally a very fun and exciting Roman holiday called the Lupercalia. According to Wiki, The Lupercalia was an extremely important fertility holiday, in which young boys ran through the streets, striking women with thongs of goat skin dipped in blood, which was thought to aid in ease of pregnancy and labor. The things people will come up with, eh? On the other hand, afterward was the feast and the sex lottery afterward. WOOHOO, SEX LOTTERY! In which young people were paired up for a year or so, and if children were the result, marriage generally followed. I don’t mind telling you, a feast and a sex lottery sure beats the hell out of some chintzy stuffed bear holding a heart that says “I Heart you THIIIIIS MUCH” and an hour and a half wait time at the steak joint downtown.

Easter. As everyone knows, Easter came about because Jesus and all his apostles were celebrating Passover (you know. The Jewish holiday.), and Judas sold him out and told the Roman soldiers where he was and he ended up having to do the walk of shame through Jerusalem with a big assed wooden cross strapped to his back. Except for that one part, where it was carried for him. Well, in order to make it more appetizing to those fun loving Romans who, frankly, weren’t quite the guilt-ridden Catholics you now see before you, the church found it necessary to tweak a few things and told the pagans that of COOOUUURSE they could keep some of their more time honored traditions and idols, because Jesus was TOTALLY down with that, even though he wasn’t and it was a desperate ploy for converts. Let’s take the name Easter. See, way back before the church told all us Italians how incredibly bad we should all feel about Jesus’ death (because it was all our fault, after all, even if it was “pre-ordained”), there was this moon goddess. Her name was Eostara. Her totems were the hare and the egg, for fertility. Yeah, them Romans, they liked sex a LOT. This has not changed noticeably. Ever wonder how we got something like the Easter Bunny?  I mean…a rabbit? Handing out eggs?! Amazing what we hang onto, isn’t it? Cultural memory is a funny thing.

Wow. This late and I’ve only covered two holidays. This is getting a bit long, too. Okay, kids. I promise I’ll be back tomorrow and we’ll go over the rest of the story. Right now I’m going to pay attention to my family some.

And So This is Christmas…

…And what have you done?

Good question. I feel exhausted enough to have crossed every damn task off Hercules’ list. Those Agatean horses got NOTHING on moving house from San Francisco to Dallas in a soft market with kids in tow.

I decided that since I wasn’t especially in the holiday spirit, I’d take the advice of all those gushy, I-heart-Christmas people and try to jump start myself into it. I went shopping. This has never been high on my list during Christmas. The advent of the internet was, IMO, the best thing that ever happened to Christmas shopping. I get the soft happy emotion without having to deal with one idiot on the road.

Yesterday was asshole day at the mall, my friends. Yes, yes, the parking lot was full of them; I can’t believe they all just hung out circling for the best space before finally giving up, grabbing the best spot they could and going in. And THOSE are the people I spent time around. So many varieties of asshole, so few adjectives and modifiers.

The malls here have a different flavor of asshole than those in California. They’re all every bit as self absorbed regardless of state, but there’s a subtle difference. Texans are louder for starters. Drunker, too. Coming from a place where cops just can’t WAIT to try out their breathalyzers, it’s stunning to look around and realize the reason for all the swaying is not the Christmas music. Then there’s the gods. Damned. Perfume. Holy mother of fuck, people, there is simply no REASON for all that damned scent. I went from ground state to raging headache in 0.5 seconds just walking through the doors. Everyone is trying to outsmell everyone else. It’s worse than the perfume counter at Macy’s. And what is WITH you idiots who decide the very best place to unload your Christmas shopping and chat with your friend is right here in the middle of the damn walkway where everyone has to go AROUND you? HUH? Do you REALLY believe you’re that goddamn important? Get out of the damn way or I’ll kick your presents over the ledge and you’ll have to move just to get them from the first floor.

Yeah. So shopping didn’t work. Moved on to baking Christmas cookies. This may have been a mistake. Four teenagers able to do math and add up mom in the kitchen + sugar, eggs & butter=treats gone the second they come out of the oven without even being decorated. I managed to salvage a few so that the darling man could have one or two at least before our voracious offspring could continue their piranha imitations.

We picked our oldest boy up last night from a party and, taking a side route, decided we’d look at the various houses running up their electric bills with ornate displays. This was once guaranteed to elicit “oooo” ‘s from the kids, who looked forward to such diversions this time of year. The response last night? “Are we lost? Aren’t we going home?” *sigh*…. Maybe it’s time we looked into military schools…

Ah, well. We went home and rewarded our attempts at the Christmas spirit by going to bed and staying there, which is what we should have done in the first place.

Merry Christmas.