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Happy new year


#1

To all my friends on Orchid - a very happy and prosperous new year.

Since Christmas I’ve been giving this whole winter holiday thing
some thought and the first thing that occurred to me was how silly it
is to have a (supposedly) happy holiday in the middle of winter. We
in the west have it all wrong and the way the Aussies do it - having
Christmas in the middle of summer just seems so much more sensible…
so I thought we should perhaps move it on to June… But then I
got to thinking some more and realised that moving it six months
would mess up a load of other things, so, my latest thinking is that
we should just move it to the third week in January. That way we
menfolk would have more time to find a suitable gift for the
’significant other’ and, even better, we would be able to do all our
Christmas shopping in the January sales !! Do you think it would be
worth putting such a proposal to the politicians…??

Best Wishes
Ian

Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#2

Ian,

Well, those of us who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday
might object somewhat to altering the date to make it more
convenient for retailers. (Yeah, I know we’re a tiny minority, but we
DO have some say in when Christmas is celebrated, what with it being
ostensibly a celebration of the birth of the Christ child and
all…) While the exact date of the birth in question is unknown,
there is some serious symbolism of the Light returning to the world
(note the proximity of Christmas to the Winter Solstice) that somehow
isn’t the same in July, so I don’t think you’d be able to get the
churches on board, and at least here in the States, the politicians
aren’t prepared to take on the churches. Perhaps we religious types
could all agree to stop buying gifts for our significant others,
though, and focus on doing charitable giving instead if that would
make it easier on the jewelers? :slight_smile:

Besides, we Americans have Independence Day on July 4 already, so
we’re covered for a summer holiday. But we could move Valentine’s
Day to August if that would suit you better.

Happy New Year!
Suzanne


#3

Suzanne and All,

I, too celebrate Christmas as a Believer’s Holyday, even at this
ridiculous time of year. As I understand it 1st Century through
modern shepherds only abided in the fields with their sheep for a
few brief weeks in the Spring, around lambing time. However,
changing the whole Western traditions seems a bit much, besides
don’t we really enjoying combining: Christmas, Chanukah, New Years,
NFL Play-offs, Bowl Game, Epiphany, Inventory, and Tax Time all into
one extended Ulcer Festival. Besides, where in DC would any such
intelligent courage come from.

So to All Orchid, a creative New Year,
And a rapid holiday recovery,

Ed


#4
Well, those of us who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday
might object somewhat to altering the date to make it more
convenient for retailers. 

Not to stir up things, but Christmas never was about Jesus’s
birthday. What you are celebrating is Saint Nicolas’s Birthday which
is at December 6th. That has been celebrated in Europe since the
middle ages. At some point the Catholic Church forbid this
celebration and some underground movements in the southern part of
Europe shifted it to December 25th or so, just so they wouldn’t get
caught.

Santa Claus is in fact the Coca-cola commercialization of Saint
Nicolas. Or did I misread the bible and there was indeed a santa
mentioned? The presents in the stockings seem to come from French
nuns who secretly feeded the poor at night (wrapping the gifts in old
stockings). So nothing religious about the 25th of December, just an
ordinary day with lots of presents and if that date gets shifted to
April 1st… who cares (from a religious point of view that is).

Alain


#5
However, changing the whole Western traditions seems a bit much

I believe the person making the original post was being factious. As
if it would be possible to change when Giftmas would be celebrated.

Richard Hart


#6

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? :wink:

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!

Suzanne

Suzanne Wade
Writer/Editor
@Suzanne_Wade1
(508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255
www.rswade.net