The Holidays We All Hold
Saturnalia? what's that??!
December 25th, Yule-tide, the Winter Solstice, ancient Rome's Feast of Saturnalia -- call it what you like, it has always been a time of partying in every culture reaching back to ancient Nimrod, ruler of Babylon, to his lovely wife Samiramus (sort of the Martha Stewart party planner of their ancient kingdom), and the supposed miraculous birth (Remember: one of the many perks of wealthy dictators is that they get to write history) of their first and only son, Tammuz (Actually, Nimrod had died a suspicious death... and since Tammuz was born well after the 9 month gestation period... Samiramus claimed she had been miraculously impregnated by a Sun-beam! Yeah, right!! Ladies... you might need umbrellas for protection at this time of the year. Apparently, the Sun does strange things.)
(Hey, have you noticed... especially when you've gone out to a pretty price-y restaurant... how it is inevitable to discover those parents who think THEIR KID is the exceptional, first and most perfect angel sent from heaven... HEAVEN... above?! No matter that THAT little snot with the smelly diapers... is raisin' hell at the top of its lungs... and your evening's been ruined.. and you still haven't paid the bill... so you're about ready to beat the livin' daylights out of Mother and Child... of course to be politically correct, Father, too.. but the phrase went soooo well.. with the Season!!) (smile)
(Well just try to imagine now... that those parents were the Unredoubted Rulers of The Empire... and had their first little droolin' darlin'?! You can almost hear it now: Why, he's a chip off the old block! A Miniature Moi!! With that typically tyranical temperment, it is conceivable... and certainly not far-fetched that the whole realm would probably end up having to celebrate their precious little brat's birthday!!)
Guess what? That's pretty much what happened.
Now... time warp forward... a couple thousand years to the early third and fourth centuries when the Roman Church and North Africa councils (of course, a-political in nature... being of one accord!!) ...couldn't convert all those wild "heathen". After all, the Party had been in full swing for too long. So guess what they did? They decided to join the Par-TEE! Unfortunately when they did, the clerics in Rome tacked on a few elements (actually, several) to create:
(meaning: Christ.. the Greek word for Deliverer or in Hebrew, Messiah... and well, we all know who He was... and Masa -- were the little cakes baked to honor the Queen of Heaven -- you know... Samiramus, that lovely wife of Nimrod. Boy, ain't that a knee-slapper? Queen o' Heaven?! Makes you wonder... who wrote her material?! Now, that's a woman who did not lack self-esteem!! By comparison if you think about it, that Queen of Heaven-bit... Heaven, no less... makes all the Grand Duchesses, those Czarinas and Empresses of a few square inches of dirt down here... and even the lovely First Ladies of Washington from Martha W. to Hillary R. C.... together... sound like a pathetic sewing circle of little league albeit liberated wives... of political low-lifes and lackies!) (Hey... did I mention Nimrod was the first recorded: Rebel... who, according to tradition, came to possess the original Golden fleece stolen from Noah?!)
Well as I was saying... when the Roman clerics took these elements to invent a religious Christmas holiday... they blurred the facts of history.
And what exactly was tacked on to create Christmas? Here's a couple hold overs from the Roman Saturnalia... and those earlier times of Samiramus:
The Yule log, the Holly AND the Ivy, the Mistletoe, the Evergreen Tree (an ever ready phallic symbol), the customary Red and Green seasonal dress... and here's a curious addition: the Reindeer (reminiscent of the ancient Horned God -- considered the favorite "god" of most ancient traditions from countries in the Northern regions), and even the Caroling -- a favored past time of revelers of old. Did I leave anything out???... Oh yeah, and the gift giving -- it's all part of the wonderful Reason for the December Season that's been going on for the last 3,000 plus years!
So to all you traditionalists... enjoy! Keep your church-ianity... traditions in whole, or part, or some, or all. Just, don't look at the next guy as odd for not keeping the "right" ones or the "politically correct" ones. And friends, perhaps... especially if you're a participant in one of those "Living Christmas Tree" performances, you will no longer be surprised if others don't share the same sort of sentiment or appear to have the same kind of grin on their faces as you sing Oh come, all ye faithful!
I'm no Scrooge and you shouldn't be either! Have lots of fun... and be intelligent about it!! Whatever you do... please don't blur the scenery -- as the song says: it's frightful and blizzardy enough. Actually, I don't care if some want to remember Christ's birthday every day of the year. So, Ho, Ho, Ho... and Have Yourself A Merry Little Whatever... just don't cloud the facts and obscure the truth. Thank you!
Now speaking of songs (and for your partying pleasure...) (by the way, can you believe I graduated with a degree in Church Music from USC?? And I did quite well, too!)... anyway, I just checked my copy of The Oxford Book of Carols... it's got a great motivational song for the holidays: # 113 "Up now, laggardly lasses, Up, awake and away!" (Oh, I'd love to translate that into some good, modern street English...) So... MOVE "IT", move on over to the right side and click on the trumpet music gif... You'll be able to check out some of my favorite Christmas Midis. I'm sure you'll enjoy them as much as I do!
When you have a little extra time, go take your kids to visit The Los Angeles Central Library and learn more about the holidays. Don't forget to teach 'em, too... so when they grow up... they won't be utterly confused doubting everything else you've taught them about the various meaning of these Holiday happenings. Tell 'em the truth. These merry-making traditions are just that -- merry-making traditions. And other than that, they are old attachments of long-forgotten pagan festivals that have collided with unrelated events of history presenting us with the biggest danged accident of traditions and customs (with Tylenol strength headache added at no extra cost)... the likes which come around, thankfully, only once a year.
No! Santa and his sleigh didn't run into the Heavenly Hosts while they were singing "Glory to God in the Highest; and on Earth... peace, goodwill toward men..." Nobody in heaven or on earth raised a rousing chorus of "Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock" or even Elvis Presley's "Santa Claus is back in Town" that night in Bethlehem so long ago. No! Rudolph and the others didn't graze at some Manger all decked out with garland and tinsel... or Boughs of Holly and sprigs of Mistletoe decorated by Joseph while Mary was having contractions. And No... none of them... from Dasher and Dancer to Donner and Blitzen... not Jolly ol' Saint Nick... nor the Shepherds had been sipping hot Wassail from the bowl... Neither the Three Wisemen... nor the Grinch had feasted on figgy pudding... And finally, not the Little Drummer Boy... not the littlest Angel... not even little Tiny Tim... not the camels nor the cattle that were lowing.. not one ox or ass stood around... singing the "Hallelujah Chorus", "Silent Night", or "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" to Baby Jesus who was not teething on peppermint candy canes that first Christmas Day! Really!!
Not any of the 10 lords were leaping around some pinada pole... None of the Sugar Plum Fairies pirouetted into position... No Babes came from Toyland... No Frosty the Snowman...Definitely NO three ships came sailing in... No colored twinkle mini-lights...No Christmas cookies or tins of Christmas treats... No bayberry scented candles... No PineSol spray -- Christmas fragrance (that smells like bathroom anyways!!)... Nobody selling CD's of all the Seasonal favorites...And even the Boston Pop's stayed home! After all, I hear they have a real good stage manager who must have warned them of the possibility that this strange Christmas crowd (the likes of which we see in all the Malls...) always shows up for the Holidays and all the tickets were sold and it was standing room only... and that everyone in the Orchestra'd probably end up out in the cold stumblin' over everybody and everything including all those wooden buckets and terra cotta pots full of sheep bleep and donkey dung... tryin' to stay warm and dry... 'cause... THERE was NO MORE ROOM... in the Inn!!
No wonder everybody thinks the Story sounds pretty unbelievable! I would think so, too!
Hey... Do you know how that little Babe in the Manger got His name? (Quite honestly... I cannot determine the veracity of the story. Nonetheless, what I've heard seems plausible and is one of my favorites to pass along to you!)
Well, we know that at the time of His birth, Joseph had been concerned for Mary's well-being and desired to know what she pondered in her heart -- You see, Joseph being a just man... was not willing to make her a public example. And so the blessed event apparently went something like this:
As the Three Kings from the East approached the Child caught in heavenly slumber and His Mother... one by one they presented their gifts.
The sight was spectacular. The first King bowed and in quiet reverence honored the Babe lying there... with an ornate chest filled... filled with Gold. Next, the second King... with solemnity reserved only for royalty... offered pungent Frankinsense. Then bowed... taking his leave.
Having waited for his moment, the Third King with greatest dignity... stepped forward. But being seized by the overwhelming smells of that first Christmas morn, he sneezed. Whereupon the camel belched and the donkey reared... so that the King jumped and tripped on his festive garments... taking a nose-dive through the muck and cattle crap... at the same time pulverizing his gift -- an oppulent cruse filled to overflowing with Myrrh... all the while heading into home plate: the Manger. When suddenly the startled Baby awoke in fright.. and began to scream!! To which the bewildered, half-dazed King shouted: JESUS CHRRRIST !!
That's when the Blessed Virgin turned to her beloved Joseph -- "Hmm???! Well dear... that's soitanly bedda than ... IRVING!"
So... make up your own traditions! It looks like everyone else has! Why should you and your kids be the only ones left out of the fun... and grow up freakish? Whatever you do... just teach them they can enjoy this time of the year, too! It ain't no big deal. Christ was born in September. Just perhaps, it is wierd ol' Santa who was born in December?!
Now folks, quite frankly... a quick "cut 'n paste" WWW search of the word: Saturnalia... will reveal the primary purpose... and oldest Reason for this Saturnalia Season. Short and simple, it's... SEX!!!...(Blessed holy Angels come and purify the air!) Yep, SEX and festive Orgies... and frolicking with all them Ho, Ho, Ho-s... and other such Jollies and Holiday Happiness that folks love getting off on! Am I the only one... or do you know there are some people out there who just love to get off on Ho, Ho, Ho-s? It's as if they can't get enough! You know... when you really think about it... this particular Holiday was just a great excuse for doing the... uhhhh, what do the high school kids call it?? Oh yeah... the Jungle Thing! (As if anyone needs an excuse... 'cause they certainly don't seem to on those 364 other days during the year!)
Anyway folks, please don't ignore the facts... or try to keep 'em covered up. Perhaps, you might want to keep other things covered. But regarding this subject... your kids will find out sooner or later... if they don't know already. So, deal with it! And to the provincial 'n pure... as well as to the unlearned who may still be a little mystified by ALL these and many more neglected facts about the Reason for the Season... go check out MetaCrawler ... or any other search engine!
For more on a simple, informational link (PG - version...) to the Saturnalia celebration in mid-winter go here.
The following link is to somebody who probably has the most graphic illustration of the old Roman Festival of Saturnalia that I've found on the Internet (though I won't link directly to it since there are many young folk who read my homepage. You'll have to figure out how to get there by yourself! -- Saturnalia by Patrick Farley, http://www.e-sheep.com/toc.html .... You may have to encourage him to make his file available... sometimes it disappears!)
By the way, you may or may not know that April Fools Day (the first of April...) is another hold-over of much of this confusion. At one time, Religious Celebrations (some anciently connected with the Vernal Equinox... once considered "New Years" and other traditional holidays...) were orignially celebrated in April. When moving such orthodox festivities from April to modern New Years Day, it was the fundamental April Fools purists who kept that particular holiday party going. But as we know (due to poor family planning... I think?!)... fools are born... oh, ... just minutes apart... and sooner or later... there's something for everybody. So if you're hoping for a little more spicy Season Greetings. If you're looking for a few real crowd pleasing winterized celebration and party planner ideas, you might consider checking out the late December Feast of Fools and Asses.
So... there you have it! Thanks for visiting. I hope you have many... Happy Holidays !
Perhaps... more later! (but don't count on it anytime soon!!)(smile)
E a st er - The Holidays We All Hold Dear - Part II
THANKSGIVING the Holiday
Isaiah wrote: "In the last days there would be a monument to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, a stone monument at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of All Things... in the land of Egypt. For they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour, and a Great One, and He shall Deliver them...[in that Day]."
To Seven WONDERS in My World including the Great Pyramid of Giza... and other interesting subjects... including The Nazca Line Drawings and Ancient maps.