Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where The Dickens Did This Christmas Madness Come From?

So, the big day is nearly upon us. As we venture towards yet another Christmas I've noticed among the tide of revelry, the old familiar tinge of Christmas humbug. It's little more than annoying background noise, but it comes in two forms: cries from people who want to put "Christ" back in Christmas and objections from those who can't handle the onslaught of religious imagery that accompanies the holiday season.

A few centuries ago, Christmas celebrations were little more than community-based or church-centered observations and did not approach the level of festiveness that we see today. Indeed, the were highly reverent, utterly boring observances. Christmas just wasn't considered that big of a deal after the pagans went underground and the Puritans got hold of it. Easter was the higher holy day.

All of that changed in the late 1800's after the publication of a little novel called "A Christmas Carol". You know the story. Even if you haven't read the book or haven't seen a classical movie adaptation, you must at least be aware of the Mickey Mouse or Billy Murray versions. Even Mr. Magoo blindly attempted an interpretation. Anyway, after the publication of "A Christmas Carol", Christmas had a revival. However, instead of a stolid religious observation, Christmas became a family oriented festival of generosity.

Whether or not you attach a religious significance to the holiday, the traditions that have developed over the last 100 years are important because they bring us together as a nation. Christmas has become a time where we can express our love to friends and family and recognize our good fortune in life by giving to those who are not so fortunate. It is also a time for children to bask in their innocence while allowing adults to briefly re-live those carefree days of youth.

In short, Christmas is here and it's not going anywhere. No matter which side of the argument you're on, you need to let it go. Quit yer bitching and have yourself a glass of spiked egg nog and enjoy yourself.

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