Well, that was weird. I’m watching the History channel; clearly I must have been confused and had it on by accident instead of the E! channel. It was strange since Kim Kardashian didn’t show up anywhere.
Anyway, this show on the origins of Christmas informed me that nobody knows what day Jesus was born on, the Romans only started celebrating His birthday in the 4th century, and they just lumped it in with their big end of year, winter solstice party that everyone wore their nicest toga to. WHAAT?? Oh that’s just marvelous. Instead of ugly Christmas sweaters, we should be wearing togas. Why has this not been made clear all these years?
Then later on, the medieval Christmas was all about rowdy groups going door to door singing Christmas hymns and getting a dip out of the household jug of ale. This would go bad if you didn’t give them a swig of whatever libation and they would threaten to throw rocks at your house or shank you the next day in the village square or something. So they just got drunker and drunker as they went through town. But at least they were singing church songs.
And THEN, the pilgrims got all pissed that Christmas was a Catholic invented holiday because they were Protestant, so they banned it all together. They didn’t want any of that drinking and singing stuff and I think the Roman’s Winter Solstice party to them seemed like a party at the Playboy Mansion so they put the kibosh on the whole holiday. Good grief.
Now I’m all confused.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and say, that those that want to celebrate in whatever way they will, seems to go along perfectly with history.
The importance of celebrating the Winter Solstice in those days is because folks didn’t have frequent flyer miles or points to redeem for a trip to Hawaii in January. Drinking, feasting, lighting candles were pretty much all that got them through the dark days of December. Hmm, sounds kind of familiar.
We can put whatever importance on this day we want to. If it’s Jesus’ birthday you celebrate, Hallelujah. If it’s secular and pagan traditions, go for it. Or maybe it’s a bit of both. Nothing wrong with some revelry, feasting and prayerful reflection, yes? All my non-Christian, Agnostic, Atheist friends are like, “Yeah, Rebecca come to the dark side with us!” and my Christian, conservative, religious friends are like, “Rebecca, Christmas is about Jesus and that is all.” And for me Christmas is still about Jesus. But, it’s interesting to hear where all this stuff got jumbled together. Let’s all be merry together.
So now I’m just thinking of how to bring the toga back for my next Christmas party, and if tights go with it because it does get chilly here.
Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice and thank goodness those uptight pilgrims didn’t ruin the party for the rest of us.