Ah, my attempt at a humorous response has clearly fallen flat. Ian's
obviously facetious post reflected only the secular celebration of
Christmas as an occasion for buying ever more stuff, so I foolishly
attempted to be equally facetious and point out, in what I had hoped
was a humorous manner, that the holiday was originally religious,
and that it still is for some of us. Most Christians tolerate and
even embrace the myriad commercial add-ons, like Santa Claus, with
good humor, but I draw the line at changing the date of my holy day
for the convenience of retailers -- even those I respect as much as
the jewelers on this list! Heck, retailers have already made it a
four-month festival. Isn't that enough?
If anyone really wants to get into the religious history of
Christmas, and its permutations through the ages, I'd be more than
happy to do so. The secular and sacred celebrations of Christmas have
been intertwined for a long time, and they both draw on traditions
that predate Christianity, so it's a fascinating discussion. But that
strikes me as a conversation more appropriate to one of the religious
newsgroups I participate in than here, so perhaps we should take that
conversation off list?
Whatever you celebrate (or don't celebrate) at this time of year,
may you have joy in the year ahead!
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