Insert Fun Facts Here....
As you sit back in your chair this Christmas:
(the biggest holiday of the Ancient Roman World called Saturnalia and the birth of the Persian Sun God Mithras was named the birth festival of Jesus by Pope Leo the Great in 885 A.D. December 25th was also the Feast of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, a cult popular to Romans like Constantine, the first Christian emperor. Modern estimates based on the census records of Augustus calculate Jesus' actual birth in July although Christians had started to use the Saturnalia as the birthday feast as early as the 300's A.D.)
by your yule log:
(pagan German custom),
wrapping your presents in pretty paper:
(Roman Saturnalia custom)
with your house all decorated with lights:
(Roman New Year custom)
under your mistletoe:
drinking from your Wassel Bowl:
(Anglo-German hot beer with toast floating
in which is why we "toast" with the words "was-heil" -- here's to ya).
You're looking at your Christmas tree:
(besides the Celtic tree worship, the 24th of December was the feast day of Saints Adam and Eve
when Medieval Churches act out the Genesis story and set up a tree representing the "tree of life" with glass balls representing the fruit. This custom was later associated with Christmas and was taken from Germany to England by Prince Albert and to America by Hessian soldiers and later German immigrants)
(In an 1883 editorial about the newfangled custom the New York Times called the Christmas Tree -- "A rootless, lifeless corpse -- unworthy of the Day..."),
And you dream of a visit from Santa Claus
(a hybrid of anglo-dutch customs appearing in it's modern form in New York in the late 1850's.
The English form was St. Nicholas, a big jolly Bishop in a red suit and the Dutch had Kris Kringle, the elf who dropped down your chimney and was also known as "Klaus-in-the-Cinders" or "Cinder-Klaus'". The first image of him was drawn in 1859 in the New York Sun by cartoonist Thomas Nast for the Clement Moore poem (Nast also created the Democratic Donkey and Republican elephant). The modern image was created for a 1930's ad
campaign for Coca-Cola by illustrator Haddon Sundblom.)
(A Welsh friend told me the Druid priest who distributed magic mushrooms wore a red robe with white fur trim. The reindeer had a habit of eating these mushrooms which gave you a high when you drank their urine.}
So here's wishing you hopes for a "White Christmas" (song written by Russian-Jewish composer Irving Berlin)
and a very Happy New Year:
(courtesy of the 12 month calendar reformed by the Hellenic-Egyptian Sosigenes for Julius Caesar and modified by Pope Gregory in 1582, else we'd be celebrating in March.)
Merry Christmas, Freylich Chaunnakah, Happy Solstice, Happy Birth of Mithras, Io, Saturnalia, Joyeux Noel, Bozego Narodzenia, Frohe Weinacht, Happy Birth of Sol Invictus the Sungod, Happy death and rebirth of Baldur son of Odin, Happy beginning of the rise of Porsephone back from
Hades to her mother Demeter, and pass the reindeer pee!