Unfortunately Santa’s Sleigh has been caught up in the refugee debacle and isn’t allowed to travel from Indonesia down to Oz.
He’s been threatened with imprisonment on Nauru, Manus or even (worse) Canberra.
So he’ll be giving us a miss this year.
I apologise on his behalf.
We are all just going to have to be nice to one another without his leadership.
As a visitor from some other (unknown) planet, it’s reasonable that I would find some earthly customs strange.
And surely nothing is stranger than Christmas.
Ostensibly a Christian festival, it nevertheless promotes Santa Claus, the North Pole, intense shopping sprees, legs of ham, holidays, liquor sales, bonbons, fruit pies, three kings and camels (none of which appear in the Bible…….indeed, pig eating is strongly condemned by the Bible).
The other characteristics were simply unknown in Israel in the year AD1.
It therefore seems obvious that almost everything is an add-on.
The time of the event is courtesy of the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.
Saturnalia was so popular that the Christians tagged their festival onto the end of it.
The giving of gifts and lots of bright lights (or candles) also came courtesy of Saturnalia.
The feasts, suckling pig and lots of wine came courtesy of the Greek festival of Kronia
The actual date is courtesy the Emperor Aurelian who declared 25th December the Birthday of the Sun God, Sol Invictus. After the state religion changed, the deity also changed but the holiday remained.
Santa Claus came courtesy a 3rd century Turkish bishop who never visited the artic circle.
His costume of red and white came courtesy of the Coca Cola company’s corporate colours..
The reindeer came courtesy of the American Clement Moore who in 1823 wrote his famous Poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
The decorated Christmas Tree came courtesy of central Europe in the 16th century
where evergreen trees were brought inside to scare away the devil.
And of course the shopping spree is courtesy of the Retail Traders Association of Australia.
So what is the meaning of Christmas to you?
If you are a Christian, it is obviously a time to pause and be grateful that Jesus was born.
If you aren’t a Christian it’s still a great time to pause and be grateful that such a great Spiritual Teacher has visited this small planet.
Either way, it’s a perfect time to simply reconnect with the Spirit within.
And we most easily do this by the way we treat our selves, our family, our friends, our associates and even strangers…..
Yes, we should treat everyone with respect, kindness and courtesy all your round – but
let’s face it…..most of us don’t.
So Christmas is, at the least, a good place to start!
A great practice!!
Finally, the ‘merry’ in ‘Merry Christmas’ comes from an English admiral in 1699 who talked about having a ‘merry time”…..
What he meant was to “do things to bring yourself luck and happiness”……
So, with that understanding…… Merry Christmas to one and all!
Les & Trudi