I’ll admit it, I’m a Scrooge. Bah, Humbug. I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t say to bankrupt your family on plastic toys and computer games for your kids. I’m also pretty sure there weren’t any elves in Bethlehem, but don’t let me stop you from having your fun. Run around and buy your presents and stick pretty bows on them. Bake your cookies and send out cards. I’ll put your cards on the mantle. I’m just Christmased out. It’s an occupational hazard. I’ve spent years of my life making Santa Clauses and snowmen and all things red and green.
I do like some of the less than religious aspects of Christmas. Elves at the North Pole? C’mon, that’s just funny when discussing a religion started in the Middle East. I only have one ornament up, and that’s of the 3 astrologers. Someone once told me “Real Christians don’t believe in astrology!” Really? Then why were the 3 wise men following that star to Bethlehem?
Okay, maybe I’m irreverent sometimes, but I have to behave myself at my job for a religious organization, and can I really stay proper all the time? God made me, so God must have a sense of humor. Besides, the history of Christianity was a brilliant display of superior marketing abilities, and as a person who’s worked in marketing, I have to admire that. For instance, the Celts of Europe worshipped a mother goddess. The chauvinistic Middle Eastern religion didn’t, but hey, Jesus had a mom. Mother Mary won the Celts over. Pagan Germans had a thing for decorating trees? No problem. Now it’s a Christmas tree. Northern Pagans wanted the sun to come back in mid-winter because it’s depressingly dark then. They had holidays around the winter solstice. Voila! That’s when Jesus was born.
Those early Christian marketers weren’t really changing the Bible, they were just practical and creative. I’ve got to admire that. Okay, so when absorbing pagan holidays didn’t work, they had the Crusades and Conquistadors, but most people fell in line without having to kill them to save their souls in a frenzy of brotherly love, and the end result is that Christianity has been a tremendously successful religion. It was successful because it absorbed the other religions without necessarily destroying the parts of them that the masses enjoyed.
The religions that seem to fight with each other the most are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which is ironic since they’re all siblings, with Abraham of the Old Testament as their common ancestor. I’d say we should all send them to Dr. Phil for a family intervention, but he’s Christian and would probably take sides. Maybe we should send them all to Deepak Chopra or the Dali Lama?
I think I’ll stick with thoughts of Santa Claus today instead of trying to resolve world conflicts. At least Santa has never been associated with wars. Even Gandalf and Dumbledore can’t claim that, so obviously wisdom and white chin whiskers aren’t the solution. Besides, today is “Black Friday”, the day Americans go shopping, and Santa is the guy who totally understands presents.
This is really old art, but Santa hasn’t changed too much over the years. I think the Europeans make him skinnier, but well, there’s all those Christmas cookies over here – and never mind my Scrooge-like tendencies, none of my bah humbugging applies to cookies. There are never enough cookies!