Time to start humming off-key as we gear up for a month long celebration (read: exploitation) of Christmas events. For those of you who prefer your religious affiliations to be something else, make a mental change of "Christmas" to whatever you prefer.
I've already attended one parade, turned my car stereo to the channel playing holiday tunes 24/7, and have begun mailing gifts and planning meals.
So how many know the history of Christmas? Not the "celebration of Christ's birthday" (O Holy Night...) -- which is closer to August or September rather than December -- but the pagan-based celebration that was tied to the winter solstice? The one where they hung bull balls to a tree as symbols of fertility? Think of that next time you look at the Christmas ball ornaments you've so carefully hung. (O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...) Mistletoe has origins in fertility customs as well. Yule logs are tied to the Sun God, among other things. Reindeer are symbolic of the Stag God (Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer....). The list goes on and on. Christians adopted the holiday as an opportunity to worship in secret. And there's plenty of controversy as to whether or not the pagan origins and the Christian meanings should still be tied together, in religious as well as secular sects.
And when you get bored with those, google "Christmas pagan holiday" and overfill your cup of eggnog on facts and tidbits of knowledge.
(Mary did you know....?)
For me, it's just another opportunity for commercial giants to lure me into purchasing stuff people don't need in my greenbacked attempts to prove some superficial measure of love for them. On that note... it's time for me to go shopping for those last-minute gift ideas. (City sidewalks dressed in holiday style.....)