History lessons

Sometimes my best work is in response to something I’ve seen or read elsewhere. Take this for example. How much information do you give your little kids about why we celebrate Christmas? In my house, it might go something like this…

“Well, now Melody, we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th, even though he was probably born in September. Well, the Bible tells us that the shepherds were tending their flocks and that concluded at the end of summer. So we celebrate his birthday in December because a man called the Pope decided in 350 that since pagan religions had been celebrating their own holidays on December 25th for hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born, it was already a day of great celebration and it would be easier than establishing another celebration in September. No, I don’t know why he didn’t just make Christmas in September. They were called Yule and Saturnalia. No, I don’t know why they couldn’t continue celebrating their own holiday. Okay, back to the story. We put up a Christmas tree because it represents rebirth of the sun god, Yule, really, and early Christian leaders felt it was blasphemous, but people thought they were really pretty, so they just did what they wanted, and that’s been the tradition since the 1500s. Next, there was a really wonderful monk named Nicholas who gave gifts anonymously, and he was sainted and called St. Nicholas, but we can’t really talk about HIM because some people think he’s fake. Santa Claus? Well, he was a legend hundreds of years ago in The Netherlands who magically brought toys to good children and he was really called Sinterklaas, but again, we can’t talk about him because some people think that HE is fake too, when in reality his name is derived from St Nicholas and he’s thought to be based on the Norse god Odin. What honey? Yes, it’s all very confusing, let’s just go have some hot chocolate…”

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One thought on “History lessons

  1. According to the internet (great knowledge based being) when we celebrate Yule we should also sing Pagan songs such as ‘Silent Night’, ‘Oh, Come All Ye Faithful’, and ‘Joy to the World’. That’s me, corrupter of little kids. It’s great to be the Auntie.

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