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View Full Version : Christianity,Christmas: Your feelings



gunnar I am
11-19-2002, 03:59 PM
Here is where this debate belongs.I will weigh in at Thanksgiving on my feelings about "greater powers".

[ 11-19-2002, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: gunnar seigh ]

Mrleft8
11-19-2002, 04:42 PM
"Deck the walls with boston charlie! Nora's freezing on the trolly!..."
Nice to see such goodwill towards all men so early in the "season".....

Meerkat
11-19-2002, 04:56 PM
"Don we now Joe's apparel falalalalalaLA"

IMO the truest meaning of "Christmas" and the reason why so many religions have holy days in December is the winter solstace, the shortest day of the year. It marks the ending of the old year and the begining of the new cycle of life.

LeeG
11-19-2002, 05:18 PM
trepidation

Chris Coose
11-19-2002, 05:26 PM
The season has been hijacked by a bunch of groups.
I like what I experienced and really like what I've seen in my kids eyes when they get the first glance at Santa's handiwork.
Religion has always played second fiddle to that moment.
How'd we get Thanksgiving? Did we hijack that from the Indians?

gunnar I am
11-19-2002, 05:36 PM
Salt water taffy pulling,cranberry and popcorn stringing(boy was that hard on the fingers!)cookies,kitchen smells ,going to Grandma's,Thera was no Christianity in ours,Parents best I can tell were agnostics, but we had loads of fun,didn't get too manyn gifts,and here I bring up Jean Sheperd's Christmas Story again.Great Story.And David Sidaris's story of the Mac's elf.My boys and I herad it the first time it was broadcast,and when he got to the part where he mutters to the woman who said,"I'm gonna have you fired!", "I'm gonna have you killed!".It was at breakfast before school.They laughed so hard,they were convulsing.He is a gay elf ,as is "Snowball" who,"...leads elves and Santa's on." And what about him doing Billy Holiday singing "Away in a Manger".Alright thats' it.I'm starting a new thread.

Memphis Mike
11-19-2002, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Chris Coose:
The season has been hijacked by a bunch of groups.
I like what I experienced and really like what I've seen in my kids eyes when they get the first glance at Santa's handiwork.
Religion has always played second fiddle to that moment.
How'd we get Thanksgiving? Did we hijack that from the Indians?I disagree. Christmas is not about Santee
Clause. It's about the Birth of Christ. If
more people were to realize this, the world
would be a better place. This whole thing
of gift giving has been blown WAY out of
proportion by those seeking the all mighty
dollar. The ones that worship money.

Wouldn't it be nice if big business threw
Christmas and nobody showed up?

Chris Coose
11-19-2002, 06:44 PM
Mike,
I'll be sitting there, with a big cup of coffee, waiting to hear the little footsteps. She'll make the turn and be crushed by what she sees. That look, that moment is like no other moment of the year. There is some magic that exists for the just the briefest period when a Santa believing kid enters the room.
They were equalling thrilling moments for me and my parents in a household that was normally in quite a bit of sadness.
Next year she'll be six and it is likely to be over.
My next chance will be grandchildren.
Even waking up in a little cabin in a protected anchorage with the bacon fumes wafting over the decks dosen't come close. And I just described heaven.
It's apples and oranges on 12/25 Mike and we can have em both. Go ahead and splurge. Treat yourself to the entire 9 yards!!

Memphis Mike
11-19-2002, 06:52 PM
Don't get me wrong. I understand your
point of view. smile.gif

ahp
11-19-2002, 07:11 PM
In the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Christmas Day was a day of WORK. Celibration of Christmas was a criminal offence.

Want to go back?

Bruce Hooke
11-19-2002, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by ahp:
In the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Christmas Day was a day of WORK. Celibration of Christmas was a criminal offence.

Want to go back?No wonder Roger Williams lit out from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the middle of winter and high-tailed it down here to the wilds of Rhode Island to gain a bit of freedom :D :D

JimD
11-19-2002, 11:33 PM
Spelling aside, Meerkat and LOON are correct. The Bible makes no mention of the date of Christ's birth. The Book is almost entirely uninterested in birthdates although it is often very interested in the circumstances of birth, such as the birth of Moses (ya know, the basket in the reeds) and Jesus, son of ordinary people.

There apprears to be significant historical evidence pointing to the fact that the X-mas date is a Roman invention, coinciding with a pagan Roman solstice celebration commemorating the return of the sun, which was very important to the agricultural cylce.

Combining a festival marking the lengthening of daylight with the arrival of the light of God was a natural, and the Roman leaders saw this as an opportunity to assimilate original Christianity, which was a form of Judaism, into the national Roman enterprise.

At least that's how I understand it. jimd

skuthorp
11-20-2002, 03:30 AM
Heat, cold ginger beer, the pods on the broom popping. My grandma in the creek in her bloomers. Swinging on a rope into the swimming hole. Smell of dry grass and dust. Then to the coast with my cousins family. Caravan right on the beach, the old wooden yacht (Iv'e just restored it) Sand and sunburn and Bill G...... looking at the girls from his wheelchair with field glasses. My uncle swallowing angina pills and hauling in fish, duck-diving under the moored boats.
Now, a group of 6 friends has expanded into 28 with children etc and we meet often and have a 'friends xmas' with hand made gifts, music, singing and good Aussie wine. Some of us are religious and some not, as the day wears on we solve the worlds problems.
We are all very fortunate.

gunnar I am
11-20-2002, 06:44 AM
Originally posted by Chris Coose:
Next year she'll be six and it is likely to be over.
Don't be so sure.I've a friends who always put their Christmas tree up after the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve.In their house Santa puts the tree up as well as brings the presents.The year their daughter was 12,and her and the boys appeared not to believe anymore ,they put the tree up 3 days before Christmas. After the kids went to bed,late that night,they took all the decorations off the tree ,made a wood stand for it, drywall screwed it ,upside down to the ceiling, and redecorated it!After all the screaming for the parents to get up ,was over,Heather said,"Now I don't know what to think." They had to explain ,least she make a fool of herself at school,trying to convince others,he exists.

Joe (SoCal)
11-20-2002, 07:18 AM
From what I understand biblical scholars believe the birth of Christ was sometime in like in April. The Christmas we celebrate today was devised to convert the pagans who celebrated the winter solstice, and was one of there big holidays. In an ingenious marketing coupe Christians moved the date of Christmas and incorporated some of the rituals like the Christmas Tree & the winter solstice. The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a feast called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Now I have a close Jewish friend who I will be going with this year to chop down our Christmas trees with. It seems he thinks the whole Christmas holiday time is a blast. He is a smart sensitive guy with an infant boy and a 5 year old son and they share in the rituals of the holiday. They also share in the rituals of Chanukah. He is not a Jew for Jesus but he understands the ideology of Christianity and the concepts of Christ and especially the good will towards man part. But he thinks the Christians have the best marketing for holidays. Me personally being Irish Catholic and growing up with all the traditions it takes me back in time and nothing is better than seeing the holiday fresh again through my 4 year olds eyes. I have one sad note, I break down and cry if I hear Sinatra sing Minute Waltz. During the holiday, my mom and I no matter what we were doing if that song came on we would immediately get up and waltz together. I miss her and that memory is still so strong.

Ian McColgin
11-20-2002, 08:48 AM
So Christmas is perfect - a marketing devise invented by the imperial state church. American civil religion is about the same but we do it more in the malls, not so many open air markets any more. . .

Let us sell

Let us sell

Let us sell

Shang
11-20-2002, 08:58 AM
So what if the practice of Christmas giving was to give only presents which were made by the giver?

(Got to get back to the shop, I found a set of antique German-silver hinges to use on the cherry wood chest I'm building...36 more days to finish it...)

Garrett Lowell
11-20-2002, 09:14 AM
I always think of the Charlie Brown Christmas special when I think of what Christmas means to ME:

Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men.

The music in that production is wonderful, and I listen to it year 'round.

Eric Sea Frog
11-20-2002, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a feast called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.
Ita. They would play music too! Interestingly, that was also the swinging day when masters and slaves would changes their social positions.
Masters would serve their own slaves, who could order any meal or drink they wanted. None of them would doubt their masters were very generous to do so. They just felt they were lucky. The very next day did they resume their toiling and ill-fed life.
That would be fun for us to try nowadays, e.g. in a big corporation.

Salve,
Eric

ACB
11-20-2002, 12:01 PM
Let me see now - three days off in the middle of winter, loads of special food, decorated evergreen trees in the house, presents for the children, a day set aside for going out and visiting the relations, then a day for staying at home by yourself to avoid arguments....yes, there is a lot to be said for Chinese New Year!

Alan D. Hyde
11-20-2002, 01:36 PM
God rest ye merry, Gentlemen.

Alan

Ian G Wright
11-21-2002, 04:00 AM
Well, stuff the lot of you. I like Christmas, Sheila likes Christmas and Misty the dog likes Christmas. We will join in or ignore as much or as little of the commercialism and/or the churchifying as we please, and if I choose to feel well disposed towards my fellow man then I will, so there.

and anyway when, like me, one has silver(?) hair and beard and a waist of close to 4ft 6in It's nice to be smiled at instead of pointed at, just once a year.

IanW.

gunnar I am
11-21-2002, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by skuthorp:
Heat, cold ginger beer, the pods on the broom popping. My grandma in the creek in her bloomers. Swinging on a rope into the swimming hole. Smell of dry grass and dust. Then to the coast with my cousins family. Caravan right on the beach, the old wooden yacht (Iv'e just restored it) Sand and sunburn and Bill G...... looking at the girls from his wheelchair with field glasses. My uncle swallowing angina pills and hauling in fish, duck-diving under the moored boats.
Now, a group of 6 friends has expanded into 28 with children etc and we meet often and have a 'friends xmas' with hand made gifts, music, singing and good Aussie wine. Some of us are religious and some not, as the day wears on we solve the worlds problems.
We are all very fortunate.I put this in quotes just so I can read it twice. A Christmas so unlike any I would have imagined.And to think I fought learning the puter tooth and nail.Thanks Skuthorp!!

Ken Hall
11-21-2002, 11:40 AM
Ian, thanks for saving me the typing. smile.gif

I like the religious and the secular bits. Do public schools do Nativity plays any more? Probably not...

Joe, I'm sorry. The Christmas Waltz is one of my favorites too...we had that LP as a child, and I found the CD two years ago.

You know what took some of the fun out of the holidays for me? Going back to the grind on the 26th. I need to get a job somewhere what shuts down for the holidays, or where I can take a week's vacation between Christmas and New Year (can't do that where I am now). tongue.gif

Frank Hagan
11-22-2002, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by JimD:
Spelling aside, Meerkat and LOON are correct. The Bible makes no mention of the date of Christ's birth. The Book is almost entirely uninterested in birthdates although it is often very interested in the circumstances of birth, such as the birth of Moses (ya know, the basket in the reeds) and Jesus, son of ordinary people.

There apprears to be significant historical evidence pointing to the fact that the X-mas date is a Roman invention, coinciding with a pagan Roman solstice celebration commemorating the return of the sun, which was very important to the agricultural cylce.

Combining a festival marking the lengthening of daylight with the arrival of the light of God was a natural, and the Roman leaders saw this as an opportunity to assimilate original Christianity, which was a form of Judaism, into the national Roman enterprise.

At least that's how I understand it. jimdThat's what I've heard as well. There is some evidence for the time of Jesus' birth being in the spring, since shepherds were in the field. There's also some research concerning the taxation that required the young couple to go to Bethlehem. But I'm not sure how much of it is conjecture and how much of it is true scholarship.

Christianity has been pretty malleable, and often takes on a flavor of the local folks. Some of us "blame" Paul for that, who said you can feast at the table of those that sacrifice to idols and not be too concerned about it.

Easter is one celebration that is probably about the same time as the actual event, since its tied to Passover in the Bible. Spring is forever tied then to rebirth.

martin schulz
11-22-2002, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by Chris Coose:
The season has been hijacked by a bunch of groups.The worst thing is that the idea of Santa Claus (that greek Bishop with the Name Nikola) was hijacked by Coca Cola to this ridiculous fat guy in a red (Coke-red) suit.

I think it's a pity that even over here kids grow up with the idea that this guy in the red suit is the real St. Nicholaus.

Wild Dingo
11-22-2002, 06:58 AM
Its near on Chrissy???... Yeeeeflaminha!... You bloody bobby dazzler!!! What a corker of a time of year!!

Gawd mates I can near on hear the ol buggar sighin now as he begins gettin his roos fed up and hummin along... gettin ready for that yearly great time downunder... when the fat fella in his intellegent way discards with utter distain the thick heavy winter gear you buggars force him to wear... and rocks up down here in his shorts and singlet thongs on his feet beer in hand and half eaten pie in the other... "Come on yer bludgers the beers gettin warm and I dont wanna wait... so prezzies for one and for all!" and with that he will shout bellow and fart smile to all and sundry... yep even the dog ;) ...then turn away and of he will dart leavin a trail of red dust in the hot glarin sun...

So we will arc up the bar-bie about 10am sit around under the shade to get outta the 110 degree heat... while watchin the hoons and the many other ankle bitters who normally congregate around us muckin about under the sprinkler... we'll wonder at all yous fellas and sheilas freezin yer gronicles off while we sit back warm as toast... laughin and hollerin in shorts and singlets bikinis and boardies while up there you poor buggars are wrapped up tryin to keep warm... gawd what a hoot chrissy is!!... SIMPLY LOVE IT!!! And the hoons??? Gotta be here to understand the mentality of this lot of maniacs at this time of year!!

Pressies?... could be anything or could be nothin but by the livin harry we have a right royal time of it no matter what!!

Great kids great missus great mates and great rellies... mix the lot together on a hot stinkin day throw in some good tucker some music a lot of noise and whacha got???... A FLAMIN BOBBY FLAMIN DAZZLER OF A DAY... acourse then we gots to go through all that barbie fun under the sprinkler again on boxing day but what the hell?!! :D and thats when the world and all its problems troubles and woes gets a right royal servin from all and sundry and solve the world and make it the bestest most awesome place there be... sigh... then they sober up! :D

We decided many years ago that we do the open door policy at Christmas... someone lobbs up theyre welcome no matter who or what they do or dont bring... everyone is free to sit back have a feed and enjoy themselves... so if your around this way come on over!! just look for the noisiest place around the rich aroma of steadily searin roo steaks and say gidday!! We had a fella from Israel one year just lobbed on the flamin doorstep "ellow?" then motioning like the poor buggar had an earache so we fed the buggar till he bloated laughed at his accent while he looked glassy eyed at us unknowing what the hell we were saying at any single moment... then he took of!!... bloody silly buggar didnt even say "thanks mate"... sigh were right disappointed we was but then we found out later all he had wanted was to use the phone and couldnt speak a word of Aussie which is our sole lingo as you fellas know... but anyway he left pretty full and chipper from what we gather... reckoned we was as mad as a bunch of cut snakes but some weird word meanin "nice folks" :D Then acourse there was the year we had a bunch of mad scotchmen and irishfellas rock up unanounced drunk as all get out demanding tucker and well we had one heck of a hoot that year mates I can tell ye!!! :D

Thanksgivin??? whasssat??? :eek: ...oh right the turkey thing... well we dont celebrate that one but mates you have a good ol time now yer hear? :cool:

Take it easy
Shane

Norske3
11-22-2002, 07:57 AM
Interesting..VERY interesting...Early colonists avoided Xmas..

http://www.garnertedarmstrong.ws/christmas.htm

[ 11-22-2002, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: Norske3 ]

imported_Steven Bauer
11-22-2002, 11:24 AM
Shane, It's great to have you back! We were really, really missin' you. :D ;) :D
Steven

Mr. Know It All
11-23-2002, 10:35 AM
Peace on Earth,good will towards Men. smile.gif

Frank Hagan
11-24-2002, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Norske3:
Interesting..VERY interesting...Early colonists avoided Xmas..

http://www.garnertedarmstrong.ws/christmas.htmThere have been a few Christian groups that eschew Christmas celebrations, but they are in the minority. Jehovah's Witnesses and some other groups do today. I haven't read the info at the link, knowing Mr. Armstrong's views are not ones I want entering my head in any case, but he must be talking about the Pilgrims. Certainly the folks at Jamestown celebrated Christmas. By the time these settlements became Colonies, they were associated with a state church (MA had the Congregational Church as its official religion, VA had the Anglican, etc.) And those mainstream Christian denominations all celebrated Christmas.

Frank Hagan
11-24-2002, 11:42 PM
I couldn't resist, so I visited Ted Garner Armstrong's diatribe linked to earlier. I'm always amazed at the lack of logic and clear thinking exhibited by some of these folks. Regarding Christmas, he writes:


None of the apostles of Christ ever heard of the term; not one of them ever celebrated Christ's birthdayNow, how on earth does he know that? You could make a case that they never heard the word "Christmas", since it was invented hundreds of years later. But they never celebrated Jesus' birthday? Not once? Mother Mary never had a party for her son? The Apostles never once, in their 3 1/2 years with Jesus, wore pointy hats and made him blow out candles?

Armstrong breaks what I call the "principle of inclusion." Because the text doesn't report it doesn't mean it never happened. I'm sure our good Lord also pooped, but you can find nary a word on it in the Bible.

Most of the rest of it has enough basis in what I know to be true, but like those "we never landed on the moon" conspiracy folks, he draws the wrong conclusions from the facts.

So be of great cheer! Don't let modern day grinches accuse you of paganism as you celebrate Christmas!

plimsol
11-28-2002, 01:52 AM
F@#k Christmas.

Wild Dingo
11-28-2002, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by plimsol:
F@#k Christmas.Now now thats not nice there plim... from what Ive experienced thats for afters. ;)

And I reckon with a reaction like that your probably the first under that big chrissy tree in the morning... "Wheres mine? Wheres mine? HUH? come on!!" yep reckon as that would be you... and who will be at the turkey? ham? booze and good fellowship on the day? why plimy will be thats who!... tongue.gif

Take it easy
Shane

Cap'n R an R
11-28-2002, 06:08 AM
When I was a kid (no wise guy remarks now) I always went to Washington D.C. every Xmas...my mother's family lived there...you know that place where on rare occasions a democrat lives in that big White House...my mother's sister ..aunt Bessie ..her home is where I stayed...she always had a Christmas tree and stockings hanging for us kids...me and my cousins...thanks to her I have great memories of Christmas...I'll tell you this folks if Christ had not been born this would be a much sorrier world then it is....I celebrate his birth with joy...how could I not be happy over the fact that more then a billion people celebrate the birth of a Jew....if I knew how to put a smily face here I would....it is a warm ,joyous and loving season....the only ones who complain are psychiatrists..it's their busiest season.....seems a lot of people get depressed around that time....if they had some wood boat memories they would not feel so bad....
Scott and Dinah those are my best christmas memories....along with visiting the boat on xmas day,all tucked in for the winter....back home for dinner....it's truly a good life ..so lets enjoy...one and all...

Cap'n Ron

ken mcclure
11-28-2002, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by Ian G Wright:
Well, stuff the lot of you.... :D :D :D :D

Even though I was raised Catholic (which is Christian plus all the guilt denied by the Episcopalians) I've kind of separated Christmas from religion and settled on a broader theme.

To me, all the good feelings brought up in the season become a goal for living for the rest of the year.

mmd
11-28-2002, 09:00 AM
How about another Christmas custom from a foreign land? Newfoundland has a hilarious custom, brought from "the old country", called "mummering". From "Newfoundland History & Traditions":

Adding some Christmas Cheer - Mummers in Newfoundland

Answering a loud knock on the door reveals an odd group of souls, dressed in old, worn clothing, humps on their backs, and their faces covered to hide their identity..together in a voice acquired by speaking while drawing in their breath they chorus, "Any mummers allowed in?"

A strange occurrence? Not if you live in Newfoundland during the Christmas season!

Mummering is an old Newfoundland tradition dating back to 6th century Rome when there was no organized theatre. The church had condemned all forms of drama, and therefore the performers and entertainers became wanderers.

During the Christmas season, these wanderers, or mummers, would visit the homes of the wealthy and perform tricks and short plays in hopes of receiving small donations. This form of mummering trickled into England and Ireland, and thus was carried to Newfoundland by those who settled the province.

Though mummering, or janneying, has died out somewhat over the years, it is still alive and well in most rural areas of Newfoundland. Each Christmas, usually beginning December 26th, people will disguise themselves in old clothing, stuff themselves with pillows, men will dress as women and women will dress as men, and cover their faces with pieces of cloth or pillowcases. They travel about the community on foot, welcome visitors house after house. They will bring laughter, merriment, and Christmas cheer to each home, where residents will tirelessly try to guess who is behind each clever disguise. Once their identity has been revealed, they will break out an accordian or guitar, sing a few songs, dance a jig, and in keeping with tradition, have a drink of "spirits" before moving on to the next house and leaving a puddle of melted snow in their wake.

This fun and merry custom, however, was not always a welcome occurrence in Newfoundland. Mummering once became a very rough and violent activity in which the costumes consisted of dried skins, horns and tails from caribou, seals and other animals. The event usually took the form of a parade in the street and became very loud and rowdy, with the participants carrying sticks. People were injured and property was damaged by those whose identity was hidden. People were quite frightened by the mummers, and as a result the activity was banned.

The mummers of today, however, carry instruments, and their intentions are simply to add merriment and cheer to the Christmas season.

Hugh Paterson
11-28-2002, 05:14 PM
Our local radio station has started its Christmas campaign, it asks its listeners to report the first people in the greater Glasgow area to report the first violations of "early" Christmas decorations, some nut had them in his windows in October?????? :( Maybe he thinks hes Santa Claus
Shug.

skuthorp
11-28-2002, 09:21 PM
No point in getting upset about commercialism, I bet the Romans had the same problem with Saturnalia! Anyone remember Stan Freeburgh's Green Xmas? YOU DONT HAVE TO BE PART OF IT!
Wer'e giving hand bound books, mosaic bird baths and tree decorations, (our tree is a big bunch of Kangaroo Paws-a plant!), opera tickets, new banjo strings, a native orchid field guide, cakes, wine, a second hand camera tripod, a fancy afternoon tea, a week at our holiday house. Not a visit to a mall in any of them.We have open house too and the nephews have brought along a student or too but it's mostly people we know.
Any one of you in the neighbourhood is welcome too.
Cheers all