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Saturday, December 23, 2006

'Tis the season to be syncretists.

Although it's trapped behind the TimesSelect firewall, Orlando Patterson's New York Times column today on the historical roots of Christmas in America is worth reading if you'd like a straightforward account of how the holiday has always been a mashup of pagan, Christian, and "secular" elements — and how Puritan opposition to the holiday kept Massachusetts kids at school and their parents at work on December 25 into the 1860s: "A holiday for us all" (12.23.06, sub req'd).

Being a festive state of mind, I've decorated the site in Christmas colors. Don't worry, we'll return to the good old blue-and-orange as soon as Baby Jesus is finished celebrating the twelve days of saturnalian debauchery with Tiny Tim up at the Burlington Mall. Welcome, Yule!

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 23 December 2006 at 8:09 AM

Previous: Christmas Eve: A great night for Jewish singles!
Next: This week at uuworld.org: Mayhem and the manger.

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4 comments:

Kenneth:

December 23, 2006 10:52 AM | Permalink for this comment

Glad to see the holiday colors, but I must say, I'm tempted to put the post on del.icio.us with the tag SNARK! Happy Festivus! May your day be filled with Festivus Miracles and amazing feats of strength. (And of course, satisfying airing of grievances.)

Philocrites:

December 23, 2006 05:03 PM | Permalink for this comment

Did you see the photo of the governor of Wisconsin with his Festivus pole? That's the spirit!

Philocrites:

December 23, 2006 06:22 PM | Permalink for this comment

More Festivus poles!

And, from the Philocrites archives, some entries I've reopened for conversation if people feel drawn to discuss them: Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah - really! (12.26.05); Authentic fake holidays (12.19.04; also Holiday lite, 12.26.03); Hanukkah and Unitarian Universalism (12.6.04).

Steve Caldwell:

December 24, 2006 09:41 AM | Permalink for this comment

Related to the mismash of Christian and Pagan elements is the recent rock video from the band Sin Destroyers. Their video can be seen online here via youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eKORdxJ-So

They appear to be a tongue-in-cheek parody of a heavy metal Christian rock band -- one press quote about them says:

“If Iron Maiden had attended Catholic school, this would be their garage band."



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