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Sunday, December 21. 2014
Santa (who is clearly an obese white male in this accurate photo) is well-known to prefer Coke to Pepsi, but in our family he preferred brandy, Scotch, or Irish Coffee. Why Pepsi in this photo of him? Somebody must have paid him off.
Christmas became a federal holiday in the US in 1870. When people talk about the secularization and the material and food and booze indulgence of Christmas, I laugh because it was ever thus even though, in my family tradition, it's a pleasant if hectic blend of religious - with goodies and parties with friends, friendly acquaintances, and family.
We've been thinking about all of the charming pagan Saturnalian, and especially the pre-Christian Germanic, aspects of modern American Christmastime. A fine history of the modern Christmas here. Lots of interesting details.
My conclusion at the moment is that it's an ancient winter solstice Pagan holiday - with the baby Jesus added to the mix as Roman marketing. I have seriously-Jewish friends who do Christmas. Heck, even atheists love Christmas. My atheist Dad loved it: his entire life was about giving to others and more so than almost any Christian - or anyone of any religion - I know.
Every culture needs party seasons too, festivals. The real Christian holy day is Easter. I never heard of an Easter Party, and Easter parades are only in the movies.
No, I am not a Grinch. I love Christmas, especially Christmas Eve in church during which I shed tears every year. Advent is important to me, but far less so than Lent. I like all the parties, too, to catch up with my million best friends. Just one more, tonight, with carols. Yesterday was family pre-Christmas brunch to accommodate those who would be away, and last night's jolly party had carols too, with a neighboring pastor on the pianny and great and abundant food and drink - Champagne and wines, multiple turkeys and hams, all sorts of cakes and pies and cheeses, huge rounds of Stilton with Port. Good, memorable fun for the whole family, ages 1 to 90. Christmas balloons, lots of little kids underfoot, crazy reindeer hats and Santa hats, etc. And, finally, the carols to end it up.
In 2013, both of my parents died. That puts a damper on family things and leaves a large hole in family get-togethers, but Christmas goes on with times of its holy meaning and times of its secular delights:
The Messiah last night, and a tree on the truck roof today
Glimpse of my growing woodpile in window reflection (meaning my firewood, not my drafty olde farmhouse which is also a bit of a random woodpile). Name that vehicle, model and year. Long paid-off, and still runs good and looks good, with a few interna
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Rum, rum rum rum rum, rum-rum-rum-rum, me and my rum.
My two cents? Christmas is a pagan holiday, mostly celebrated by nominal "Christians." Yet, I go along with the crowd because I think the other way, to speak against it or boycott it, is non-productive.
So I do it half-heartedly, and look for little windows in which to insert the gospel.
Ah, and also calls to mind a great Jethro Tull song, penned by Ian Anderson:
"A Christmas Song"
Once in Royal David’s City stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby.
You’d do well to remember the things He later said.
When you’re stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
you’ll just laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
You’re missing the point I’m sure does not need making;
the Christmas spirit is not what you drink.
So how can you laugh when your own mother’s hungry
and how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.
Hey, Santa: pass us that bottle, will you?
Christmas is 100% Christian, Bird Dog.
Take Christ out of it, (not thattyall yanks can) and yall don't have but tarnished wit.
All things are clean to the clean: but to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean: but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. Titus 1:15
I am sympathetic to your sentiment, Leag. Speaking for myself, I make it Christian.
I can make anything and everything Christian. Try to.
I'm with Leag. It is Christian because the Roman church in its wisdom took a completely human need for a bit of mirth and joy and ceremony and sanctified it as Christian. Much as they did for elements of Easter and other former pagan rights.
The stern puritans tried to take the naturally human impulse out of life and it was not an improvement.
Keep Christ in the center of the season and allow yourself the natural and human need to slow down in this season and reflect and renew like a rebirth.
And for all of you Protestants that are offended by this season I say lighten up a bit Francis. The Bible is not a connect the dots live your life by detail instruction manual. To make it so is to reduce its true power and majesty.
I'll keep this short and not make a treatise of it, which others have done before me.
QUOTE Bird Dog:
My conclusion at the moment is that it's a Pagan holiday - with the baby Jesus added to the mix as Roman marketing.
That is correct. And there is more. The marketing began back with ancient Semiramis [mother of Nimrod] and Nimrod himself. They became the first "mother and child" gods, and many of the customs we still see today are derived from them. For instance, Seth [a godly person] killed Nimrod [who was evil]. But then the tale was made up that Nimrod was returned to life and the evergreen, which does not give the appearance of death in the winter, symbolized his rebirth. All these tales were conceived thousands of years before Christ.
The real question might be: Is it Christian to mix paganism and true Christianity in any way?
The Old Testament gives no credence to that idea, condemning it fully.
The New Testament also adds that:
Mt 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
There is more, but this just a comment form, not a treatise.
QUOTE Bird Dog:
Every culture needs a party season.
Well, true. But does that mean that we must go against what we should know is wrong, and party with what we know to be error?
And do so [when not told to do so] on a day that cannot possibly be even remotely close to His actual birth?
His actual birth would have been in late September to early October. There is proof of that period, but an actual day cannot be determined. And during the era of His birth, the populace had to go to Jerusalem to pay taxes. This also occurred at the harvest season, in the Sept. to Oct. period. Also, December 25 is cold, even in Israel, and not a good time of the year to be traveling for a pregnant mother, nor to birth a child in a stable.
QUOTE Bird Dog:
The real Christian holy day is Easter.
Well, that is close. But no cigar.
Close because we are told in the NT to commemorate Christ's death, and never once to do so with his birth.
And not close because Easter is an English form of Eostre, a pagan goddess of spring [look it up or google it]
Easter is only found once in the KJV, and that occurrence is a mistranslation and should be "passover". You can check Strong's or another source to verify that.
A Sunday resurrection is impossible because:
Jon 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Mt 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
There is no truthful way to find 72 hours from Friday PM to Sunday AM.
And Christ was killed just before the Sabbath.
But one must know that there are *annual Sabbath days to the Israelites, some occurring in the spring. And one occurred that year on Thursday. So a late Wednesday PM crucifixion, before the annual Sabbath on Thursday, does give 72 hours to the Saturday Sabbath, late in the day. This provides for Christ to be not risen on Sunday (he was already risen then, already gone when they opened the sepulchure).
Mt 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
That is past tense. He was already gone. No one saw him rise, and the time is undetermined. And IMHO was late Saturday Sabbath just before sunset, 72 hours after his crucifixion.
As for what day to celebrate, the NT indicates an observance of His death. It was His death that paid for your sins, not His resurrection. Your resurrection, when and if that occurs, is the reward, the rescue from sin. Not the payment for them.
Lastly, Easter has him rising on SUNday.
Sunday is the pagan day of the SUN, a perfect counterfeit for the Son. All the other days of the week are named for pagan gods as well, mostly from Nordic and German names.
There is much to be gained from contemplating the scriptures, Tippecanoe, so I appreciate your post.
The only other sensible explanation I've ever heard regarding your 3 days and 3 nights conundrum, is that Jesus was already a dead man walking on Thursday. Abandoned by God, the garden of Gethsemane etc, sweating blood... cursed and condemned at that point (for our sake, of course).
Christ said he would spend 3 days and 3 nights in the grave, If he was a walking dead man then he was not in the grave.
Since this was the only sign he was the Christ- He had better be in the grave 72 hours.
I don't claim to a perfect understanding of *anything*, Doug. But I do believe that Jesus is Lord, so there has to be an explanation. I was only offering one possible one.
Typical. Jesus died late on the first day, spent the second in the grave, rose on the third. If you thought in terms of Jewish Sabbath it would have jumped out. Or if you had considered that just maybe someone had your brilliant skepticism occur to them in the last 20 centuries and that person thought about it, you could have looked it up.
We put enormous energy into keeping Christ in Christmas over the years. I am increasingly convinced it's a lost cause.
"And not close because Easter is an English form of Eostre, a pagan goddess of spring.... Easter is only found once in the KJV, and that occurrence is a mistranslation and should be 'passover'. You can check Strong's or another source to verify that."
I love meaningless "facts" like these. It is a purely linguistic accident, and therefore completely meaningless, that in English we call the Day of the Lord's Resurrection "Easter". In Latin, for instance, it's called "Pascha"; in Spanish, "Pascua"; in Italian, "Pasqua"; in French, "Pâques"; in Portuguese, "Páscoa". All of these are, obviously, the equivalent of the original Hebrew word for Passover, "pesach". AFAIK, the only other language in which the name is of derivation similar to that of English is German, in which it is "Ostern".
But English and German Christians celebrate exactly the same event as do those who speak Spanish or Italian or French or Portguese: they celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. If they belong to the same Church, they celebrate it in the same way, too, just in different languages.
What the feast is called in any particular vernacular is completely, utterly, entirely irrelevant.
You know those sweet angels on the tree? This was because they murdered babies on Nimrods day December 25th.
The balls on the christmas tree are their because after Nimrod was cut up these were the only parts of him that were never found, Testicles.
When you know what they represent, A x-mas tree is disgusting.
Close because we are told in the NT to commemorate Christ's death, and never once to do so with his birth.That's exactly right. Vatican II stressed that the miracle is not that Christ would defeat death; that is inevitable. The miracle is that He would subject himself to it for our sake.
Tippe, yall are missing the obvious.
This covenant is a blood covenant of God's own blood.
Well as I said, I was not trying to write a treatise, so of course, was not intending to cover every point possible.
I really don't remember what early evangelist said this, I think it may be, H.A. Ironside, in reference to the Christmas Tree, he called it "a blinking abomination unto the Lord." I always cringe a little after I put mine up.
Sometimes reading threads like these I really want to become a Pastafarian.
It's all symbolism - the birth and death of Christ are abritrary dates - it's not the dates you celebrate but the Son of God being the Son of God and all that goes with it.
Symbols are powerful giving meaning and substance. The birth and death of Christ, no matter when they occurred is not relevant to the meaning and importance of belief and faith.
For all we know, Christ could have been born on the 4th of July - which would be a hoot if it were true.
I agree with you to a point, Tom. I'm not sure I care about the exact date Jesus was born, or when and if we celebrate it.
But the prophetic, figurative and symbolic language of the bible IS quite important. There is no getting around the connection between the old testament passover, and the new testament "sacrifice lamb." (And a lot of other things.)
Too much for my feeble mind, anyway...
Tom has it exactly right. I'm thankful that the Church had the foresight to replace saturnalia with a Christian focus and message. Just think how awful this commercial season would be without the beautiful message of the great miracle of God's birth as a human for our sake.
QUOTE Tom Francis:
Sometimes reading threads like these I really want to become a Pastafarian.
Funny. I kinda like that one!
QUOTE Tom Francis:
...the birth and death of Christ are abritrary dates...
For all we know, Christ could have been born on the 4th of July
The date of death is not arbitrary, though we have a some differences of opinion by a day or so.
The birth date is arbitrary to a point. That is we cannot know the exact date. But it can be narrowed to a couple of weeks or so. And from that two weeks, one could speculate as to the day, but it would still be speculation.
Now, here is how you get there.
The birth of Jesus can be determined approximately fromt he birth of John the Baptist. And that can be determined from the course of Abia.
So just google this:
From there, picking a couple of links:
"When was Jesus Born?"
"On What Day Was Jesus Born?"
Which basically puts the birth of Christ in the Israelite month of Tishri, or late September to early October.
The significance of December is the conception of Jesus, not the birth. And of course this:
That is, Dec 25 [or so] is the low point, the winter solstice, or when the turning point is for the days to get longer. Or to the ancients, the rebirth of the Sun each and every year.
Now, some have said that the "church" has changed the meaning of Dec 25, and all the associated traditions to apply to Christ.
So let me ask this?
Are you married?
Well, Israel and by extension, the Church, is the wife of God, the bride of Christ.
[ from a quick google; "What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?"
So here is my question. Your spouse is OK with you celebrating his/her birthday [and other days, anniversary etc] on any day you like. And picking the competing day of a.... former girlfriend, along with the presents, the parties, etc. is well, just great!!!
Now really, how well is that going to go over?
I think not so well.
So the question is, does God get to determine when or IF, and how......OR.....do some persons in the past with nebulous reasoning and justification get to do that?
I'm just thinking....if it is Jesus' who they belong to, it better be right.
And right now, I think the Husband is not happy with those who think they are the bride.
Most all these 'theories' on Christmas are bunk.
Here are three links well worth reading this time of year.
1. The real story of Christmas (Nativity of our Lord)
2. The true, non-pagan, origin of the Christmas Tree!
3. The ancient feast of Christmas.
Let me sum up my view of this: we don't know the day on which the Lord Jesus was born; early Christians did not celebrate his birthday; as the generations progressed, Christians found it appropriate to celebrate the birthday of the Lord, some on one day, some on another (which is why Christians still celebrate His birthday); eventually, for many different reasons, December 25th was adopted universally as the day (which is why Christians still celebrate His birthday on that day); all of the previous information is freely acknowledged by well-educated Christians, and has been for at least 15 centuries; that there might have been pagan connections with other celebrations at the same time no more means that Christmas is "really" a pagan festival than Martin Luther having been a Catholic priest and monk means that he was "really" a Catholic, or that Hillary Rodham Clinton having been raised in a conservative Republican home means that she is "really" a conservative Republican; that there must be Biblical warrant for religious celebrations is a false Protestant tradition of men; and, for good measure, no book of the Bible refers to Christmas trees in any way, approvingly, disapprovingly, or indifferently; notice of other "facts", even if they actually be facts and not just suppositions, as if they are somehow dispositive to the contrary, is indiscriminate pedantry.
The only Christian church "holiday" that appears in the NT is Pentecost. I think St. Paul mentions twice that he's like to be there to celebrate Pentecost with his friends.
Abraham planted and dedicated a tree to God at one point in the OT. I don't remember where. Since trees and other things that go up, like incense, are traditionally symbolic of our relationship with God, I don't see the Christmas tree as pagan at all.
So if something is not specifically mentioned in the Bible we as humans with free will and active participation in Christ's work cannot do something or create something?
This is the type of arbitrary, dogmatic, literal and ultimately materialistic thinking that pushed me from the protestant side over to the Roman. The Roman way doesn't try to take all of the human out of humanity but rather attempts to mold and sanctify the human in the 'light' (not dictates) of Christ.
I'm not sure where from my post you're coming to the conclusion that I think we shouldn't have any other holidays. I'm just stating a fact- that Pentecost is holiday mentioned.
When it comes to holidays and feasting to honor God, I think we Christians haven't got enough of them! You can read in the OT how many different feasting times God wanted his people to have. Their Thanksgiving was to be a week long. Ours is a measly one day.
Most people think of heaven as more church or being in a choir, but Revelations describes heaven as a wedding banquet- one big everlasting party. I'm looking forward to trying some of that wine Jesus created for the wedding in Cana.
... yet Pentecost is a Jewish holiday, whose name hints at the fact that it falls 50 days after Passover.
Round and round it goes.
"Authentic" Christianity IS syncretism - it starts almost immediately with a lumpy mix of Jewish and Roman influences.
As the gentile church pulled away from its Jewish roots and appealed largely to non-Jews, it incorporated elements of pagan cultures to ease adoption of the new faith.
That's why South American Catholics have a "day of the dead" straight out of pre-Columbian pagan culture.
Round and Round indeed. Keep in mind that to Christians, they are the natural extension of Judaism - not a different and totally separate religion. That was never the intent of the founding believing Jews and the gentile converts. It is not as if some aliens called Christians dropped in and 'invented' something out of whole cloth. Many holidays are the same even to this day, although with additional meanings, Pentecost was when Moses received the Law to Jews, it is when the Holy Spirit descended on the believing Christians and marks the start of the church's public ministry; Passover is Easter in English speaking tradition, but still Pascha (Passover), to Christians elsewhere, where death was defeated by Jesus and the new creation was begun. Christians even have Hanukkah in both their Old and New Testaments, something the Jews do not even have in their scriptures - due to a quirk of history and when the Jewish cannon was finalized.
True enough, however, Paul articulated some clear breaks with Jewish dietary and a few other traditions so that what was to become Christianity did not become just another Jewish sub cult.
....uhhhh.... belief that God took human form is the real deal breaker here, from a Jewish perspective.
The jettisoning of certain ritual laws basically confirms the break - but the deification of Jesus (complete with pagan elements such as God swooping down to impregnate a virgin) is irreconcilable with Jewish teaching, and marks the emergence of a gentile church.
God taking the form of a Jew is the deal maker that will save all of Israel that will be saved from annihilation.
A great company of Jews first filled the church.
Looking forward to yall gettin' over yall's unbelief.
I'm a fairly conservative traditionalist. I'm Germanic, Slavic and Celtic. My people were, ahem...."pagan" for 16,000+ years, and have been "Christian" for barely over 1000.
Eliminate Christianity from Christmas as think of it as a northern European cultural heritage day! It's far more fun!
wow, first you slam sarah palin and now throwing the birth of my savior under the bus. what are you going to say next that will show your true colors ? will i see a star and crescent moon next time i log onto your site?the people have always honored his birth no matter what the leadership has done.
If you know of any other mixed-topic site that honors Christ more than we do, let us know.
Wow to you too, dave...
Far as I can tell, most of the posts including the original author's are supportive of Palin and Jesus.
How is it we read things so differently, us humans?! (Banging head on wall, again...)
Well, I will stay out of pagan/christmas controversy as we light candles this time of year, in fact tonight we light five.
But I remember well the cousin to the spruce grouse while traipsing the wilds of Idaho. The Franklin grouse went by the moniker fool hen as it was pretty easy to sneak up on them and whack them into your fire with a stick. We had many a nice evening grouse dinner while chasing the wily elk in the wilderness areas back home. But no Christmas carols as it was too early. Just odes to Jack and Jim, our old (usually late) friends.
We know when Jesus died - Passover. There used to be a sort of legend that a famous person would die at the same time of the year he was conceived. Nine months after Passover (more or less) = Dec 25. I know Dan Brownification is popular, and there is undeniably some pagan influence in Christmas, but not all aspects are pagan - and so what ifsome are? Remember how Virgil's 4th Eclogue is seen as prophetic?
As I understand it, the belief was that a "perfect" man would live an "integral" number of years: neither one day less nor one day more than a certain number of years, but exactly that number of years, counted not from birth but from conception. IOW, a perfect man would die on the same day of the year that he had been conceived.
As I understand it, also, it was widely believed that the Lord Jesus was crucified on March 25th and thus, per above, would have been conceived on March 25th. (Which just happens to be the day of the year on which Christians celebrate the conception of the Lord, as the Annunciation.) Nine months later... voila. :)
I'll wade in...
Please don't forget the completely human nature of the Church.
And because the early Christians were human, I am puzzled by those who decry the pagan aspects of Christian celebrations. Of course many of the particulars of our current celebration of Christmas has pagan roots. If you were a salesman for this start up outfit called Christianity, you would get less converts and have more difficulty meeting quota if you did not allow your new members to keep some of their old celebrations.
Missionary: "You will have eternal life in heaven if you accept Christ as your lord."
Pagan Leader: "This sounds interesting, can we still have our winter celebration?"
Missionary: "Of course! We have a winter celebration too! That is when we celebrate Christ's birth! What a coincidence! Can I sign you up now?"
Pagan Leader: "I'm still not sure."
Missionary: "Wait, there's more! Let me tell you about our Spring festival..."
Now, if you would like to celebrate a purer form of Chistmas, without any pagan influence, be my guest. I don't think you'll have much left if you really strip it all out. Also, don't expect too many to follow as people clearly enjoy the current celebration.
BD, there are Easter parades outside of the movies. Check out Holy Week in Seville. I was there 30 years ago as a college student. As an RC, I have to say that was the best Easter of my life. It also helped that the women of Seville were among the most beautiful I've ever seen.
Mythological figures can vary in the descriptions of when and where they appeared, but Jesus was an historical figure, and had a specific birth date.
Fred Larson has done much work investigating just when that occurred. He looked at Scripture and found nine characteristics the Star of Bethlehem had, then went to an astronomy program to tie them to specific events in celestial history.
What he found he put on his website, http://bethlehemstar.net/
Then he put the text from the website and the astronomy program's output on a DVD. Fascinating, and very well done.
After this thread, my idea of returning to my Pastafarian roots sounds like a good idea. :>)
I'm on the side of those who say that Christmas is an entirely Christian celebration. But the date of Christ's birth may or may not be the 25th of December, as all of you know. We have to cope with the calendar shift between the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s. Somewhere in there, we lost or gained ten days, I'm not sure right now which. I do know that it affected the recognition of Easter Day and Christmas Day. So that sweet little baby born in the stable so long ago may have in actuality been born sooner or later than we think.
I do feel that the anal-retentive fussbudgets among us ought to have straightened this out by now.
The exact day of Christ's birth is not the point. The point is that we take a season ending at a precise day to reflect on the meaning of Christ's birth. It is important that Christians agree on the same day as Christianity is about fellowship and communion of God's people.
The reality that some may want to tart up the season with frivolity is their problem, doesn't change the meaning of the season for me. Live and let live.
"The Nine Billion Names of God"
is a 1953 science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke. The story was the winner (in 2004) of the retrospective Hugo Award for Best Short Story for the year 1954.
This short story tells of a Tibetan lamasery whose monks seek to list all of the names of God, since they believe the Universe was created in order to note all the names of God and once this naming is completed, God will bring the Universe to an end.
Three centuries ago, the monks created an alphabet in which, they calculated, they could encode all the possible names of God, numbering about nine billion and each having no more than nine characters, in their alphabet.
Writing the names out by hand, as they had been doing, even after eliminating various nonsense combinations, would take another fifteen thousand years; the monks wish to use modern technology in order to finish this task more quickly.
They rent a computer capable of printing all the possible permutations, and they hire two Westerners to install and program the machine. The computer operators are skeptical but play along with the monks.
The operators engage the computer. After three months, as the job nears completion, they fear that the monks will blame the computer, and by extension its operators, when nothing happens. So, the Westerners delay the operation of the computer so that it will complete its final print run just after their scheduled departure.
After their successful departure on ponies, they pause on the mountain path on their way back to the airfield, where a plane is waiting to take them back to civilization.
Under a clear starlit night sky they estimate that it must be just about the time that the monks are pasting the final printed names into their holy books.
They notice that "overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."
Yeah, I remember that one. I was annoyed that didn't use some other why to indicate that the monks were right since the stars would have had to be extinguished years to billions of years previously to all go out together.
Maybe a booming voice, "Already?"
Rom 14:5 One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. (...)
This whole chapter in Romans is about food offered to pagans.
As I see it it works basically like this:
Since there is but one real God, and all else only exists as a figment in the minds of men, the offering of food to a pagan god is essentially non-existent. In the mind of a Christian, the food is not special, and not any different than any other food. Only in the mind of the pagan does some special meaning exist.
Now for the newbie (see verse 1)
1 ¶ Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
You have to be somewhat careful that you do not delude him into thinking that paganism is OK because you eat the food. You might eat it because it is just food. Nothing more, nothing less. However, your actions might mislead the weak in faith. So be careful for their sake.
The food means nothing per se, but your actions might not be so.
I'm not smart enough to engage in the (never ending) religious nit-picks, though I did like the photograph in the post!
I wouldn't characterize Christmas so much as Roman marketing as the Church in its wisdom recognized and understands the human needs that paganism reflects and took many of those human institutions and sanctified them into Holy celebrations. That was genius. The 'reformers' on the other hand totally missed the interaction of the human and the Holy and acted as scrooge to run off all that is naturally human. The Church got it mostly right. Merry Christmas!
For some reason I am unable to send this directly to you, Bird Dog, but I beg you to see: www.aei.org/publication/funny-thing-about-christmas. Merry Christmas to all!
Quibbling over the merits of Christmas is just one of many reasons why so much of Protestantism completely escapes me.
re Pepsi Santa
I am struck by nearly identical resemblance of the Coca-Cola and Pepsi Santas of the era. One would have thought the competitors would have tried to differentiate their product with a different looking Santa.
Probably due to the advertising when I was very small, the Coke/Pepsi Santa is what I 'see' in my mind's eye when I think of Santa Claus.
Christmas is a gift that my parents and close relatives gave us children when we were growing up. It is a gift I gave my children as they were growing up. It is a gift I give my grandchildren, nieces and nephews and assorted youngsters and to my four great grandchildren. It is a time of joy and hope. It is a time to remember and to instill memories. I see my dear mother and my wonderful father in everything I do. I see my two grandmothers and many aunts and uncles that made our Christmas great. I hope I can give back all that was given to me by making Christmas special.
Nice post, BD. It certainly got the wagons circled, if nothing else.