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Christmas All Year Long!

(80 posts)
  • Started 8 months ago by saltedplug
  • Latest reply from Bill Nichols
  1. saltedplug

    saltedplug

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    My neighbor across the street lit up her bushes with Christmas lights about two weeks ago. That would be approximately November 1, with Christmas actual almost two months in the future. A radio station that wakes me up in the morning started playing carols at the same time. I had heard Christmas murmurings in late October but nothing actual behind it's my contention that Halloween and Thanksgiving are already disappearing under the weight of Christmas. Given that, why not eliminate all holidays and just celebrate Christmas all year?

    Why is Christmas so aggressive? Money, of course. Sales sales sales. Now everyone needs money, but IMNHO having more money other than that needed to satisfy basic needs breeds misery. And Christmas services greed.

    How is it that the highest holy day in the West has been so largely co-opted by those who have plenty but always want more? Only in archly capitalist greedy America.

    Somebody has sold us a bill of goods. Who? We have, but we are also surrounded by the business context that loves for us to get drunk on Christmas myths as that drives sales. At no other timed do we draw so close to family as at Christmas, when if we are too distant to be home we feel the tractor beam pulling us there. We all want connection particularly with family, but a week after the holiday it is gone. So we talk ourselves into the Christmas spirit, but business eggs us on.

    Between the two Christmas has vanished and has chewed up Thanksgiving and Halloween. Why not start with the carols in September? Who needs Labor Day?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  2. wolflarsen

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    Just make sure that you remember to say "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas" when on the campus of a public school. For those that haven't heard, Merry Christmas is now a culturally insensitive term.
    It has gotten ridiculous indeed.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  3. jaytex969

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    I feel carols should begin on the 24th and end by the 26th.

    I don't mind the mindless consumption and greed many embrace, as I can sidestep it but we should not be subjected to the secondhand noise pollution of others!

    Also, I refuse to give ANY business to any company that has their people working on Thanksgiving.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 8 months ago #
  4. crashthegrey

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    Scrooges unite. I agree with all of the above.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  5. aquadoc

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    I have 7 kids who have attended schools from Pennsylvania to Texas to Georgia and now New Hampshire and we have heard everything from Merry Christmas to Happy Kwanzaa to Happy Hanukkah to Happy Holidays and no one is pissed or unhappy or whatever. Where are you living that anyone gives a flying flip?

    But back to Salted's OP... Damn straight. This co-opting Halloween and Thanksgiving for Christmas sucks to the nth degree.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 8 months ago #
  6. ashdigger

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    I only celebrate April 19th.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 8 months ago #
  7. aquadoc

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    Ash, haha, do you celebrate national garlic day or national high five day? They are both 19th celebrations. Of course, 420 is closely related.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  8. ashdigger

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    It's the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  9. wolflarsen

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    I have 7 kids who have attended schools from Pennsylvania to Texas to Georgia and now New Hampshire and we have heard everything from Merry Christmas to Happy Kwanzaa to Happy Hanukkah to Happy Holidays and no one is pissed or unhappy or whatever. Where are you living that anyone gives a flying flip?

    California

    Posted 8 months ago #
  10. tenfiver

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    I have 7 kids who have attended schools from Pennsylvania to Texas to Georgia and now New Hampshire and we have heard everything from Merry Christmas to Happy Kwanzaa to Happy Hanukkah to Happy Holidays and no one is pissed or unhappy or whatever. Where are you living that anyone gives a flying flip?

    I always wonder that too. I constantly hear about how saying "Merry Christmas" is outlawed right alongside saying the pledge of allegiance. I'm still trying to find one of these schools, but I am routinely assured that it is commonplace.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  11. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    I only celebrate April 19th.

    I celebrate them all, as each day is a day to be celebrated... mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast.
    Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin'

    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. sablebrush52

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    California

    Funny. I live in California, and so far, I've yet to meet anyone who gives a crap.

    Christmas was a minor Holiday until the early 19th century when British tradesmen discovered that there was money to be made selling Christmas cards. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol put the holiday on the map. If it wasn't for the money to be made, Christmas would still be a minor Holiday.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. aquadoc

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    Isn't it always about the Benjamin's these days?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  14. ashdigger

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    Mothernature, true, but it would awkward carrying my musket around everyday.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    ... but it would be awkward carrying my musket around everyday.

    Awkward may be a strong word... maybe more normal.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  16. ashdigger

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    Mother, my Wilson Combat is my EDC.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. mikethompson

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    I don't mind hearing Christmas carols in early December, or putting up my lights at the end of November. I can easily filter out the commercial aspects of Christmas and enjoy the rest in my home with my family. My Christmas tree comes down on January 6.

    I think the proximity to American Thanksgiving makes the commercial parts of Christmas overshadow it for you guys. Black Friday is a relative new thing up here, which I don't understand. There is certainly 'that' part of the holiday, but I don't choose to focus on it.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    geejay61

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    Well I do agree. In the Netherlands we have SantaClaus (5-12) Until a few years ago evrybody was waiting til 5-12 and then it was all Christmas. But the shops are in a Christmas Mood in the late of september.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  19. chasingembers

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    I always found it amusing that the early church picked its holidays around pagan festivities to prevent the "good" people from participating and marring their good reputations.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 8 months ago #
  20. paulie66scandinavian

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    NoBody declares Happy Holidays here but as it was always been,they keep saying Merry Christmas'nothing wrong with that though.
    '

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 8 months ago #
  21. timt

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    Christmas was a minor Holiday until the early 19th century when British tradesmen discovered that there was money to be made selling Christmas cards. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol put the holiday on the map. If it wasn't for the money to be made, Christmas would still be a minor Holiday.

    So I said to myself, Tim don't take the bait, don't take the bait. So, I won't - but I kind of did, didn't I?

    Tim
    Posted 8 months ago #
  22. pappymac

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    The title of this discussion should be changed to: Grinch and Scrooge club meeting. And remember, I'm watching you....

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 8 months ago #
  23. cosmicfolklore

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    Funny, I live in the Bible belt and have been taught as my parents and grandparents were taught, that Christmas had nothing to do with Christ. I am surrounded by Church of Christ, Church of God, Independent Baptist, Non-Denominational, and Pentecostal churches that tell us that Christmas is not Christian. Actually, I was taught that it could only be celebrated as a kid's holiday of Santa Claus. But, we have a couple of Baptist churches in town that throws a fit, when we say "Happy Holidays." Ha ha, funny how this minority of Christians doesn't understand the other churches around them.

    Michael
    Posted 8 months ago #
  24. folanator

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    I bet you're a ton of fun at parties.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  25. chasingembers

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    Well, the twelve days of Christmas are technically the twelve days of Yule stretching from the Winter Solstice to the first of the New Year, and with Christmas stretching from Christmas day to Epiphany.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  26. pappymac

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    Cosmic, funny thing is the tradition of Santa Claus dates actually dates back to Saint Nicholas, a Greek Bishop in the area of Myra - now Demra, Turkey. So, it actually does have its roots in Christianity.

    Folanator - I stop trimming my beard in August each year so I can grown a proper Santa Claus beard. I don't normally wear any red shirts or sweaters until Thanksgiving. I started doing this for our 9 grandchildren, but I love the reaction from little kids when I'm out in public this time of the year. I have been in stores where kids are throwing fits and crying and they see me and immediately stop. Of course, they are usually younger than 6 or 7, but it still fun.

    This year, I will start wearing red tomorrow. I've been hired to be Santa for a mall photographer.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  27. sablebrush52

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    I always found it amusing that the early church picked its holidays around pagan festivities to prevent the "good" people from participating and marring their good reputations.

    This was a practical calculation. You weren't going to get any converts if you started taking away their few wretched Holidays. So goodbye Feast of Saturnalia and hello Christmas.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  28. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I have been in stores where kids are throwing fits and crying and they see me and immediately stop.

    They probably talk together and say things like, "It's him!"

    Posted 8 months ago #
  29. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Cosmic, funny thing is the tradition of Santa Claus dates actually dates back to Saint Nicholas, a Greek Bishop in the area of Myra - now Demra, Turkey. So, it actually does have its roots in Christianity.

    I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't Christian at all, but that for many denominations, especially in the South, it is not a Holy holiday. Yes, yes, I know that the word, "holiday' derives from "holy day," but I don't think all holidays these days derive from worshipful events.

    And, I have heard that Santa comes from many, many different sources, depending on what country you ask. My Grandfather was more of a stickler for not displaying any form of Christmas, but my grandmother loved the whole Santa Clause thing, and she would collect ceramic Santa Clauses, to my grandfather's dismay. She kept them out year round. And, for some reason we always got an apple from her for Christmas. I think it was something she grew up doing.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  30. chasingembers

    Embers

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    So goodbye Feast of Saturnalia and hello Christmas.

    As long as there were food and gifts the converts were appeased.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  31. sablebrush52

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    Cosmic, funny thing is the tradition of Santa Claus dates actually dates back to Saint Nicholas, a Greek Bishop in the area of Myra - now Demra, Turkey. So, it actually does have its roots in Christianity.

    Yep. And the old fellow is quite the international polyglot, with elements added from Russian, Viking, Dutch, German, Celt, and other folkloric traditions.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    As to the economics of it... can we blame businesses? I mean, they have two months to go from being in the red, competing with online retailers and frugal customers, to getting in the black.
    Sure, they hold a sale, but can we blame them when the majority of Americans rush out to stand for hours in the snow and rain to participate? Sure, sure, blame who you want, but I am rooting for the economy. Go retailers go!!! Having healthy B&Ms in my area only helps everyone.
    Besides, I love Christmas music and all of the decorations. It makes me happy. Don't fight it... roll with it. Relax.
    Life is easier that way.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  33. folanator

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    I always remember the first Christmas commercial of the season I see, then I don't spend a penny in their store.

    This year, it's Lowes.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  34. cortezattic

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    In October I start smoking my Santa Claus meerschaum,
    carved by Medet Kara, a Turk (and likely not a Christian).
    Is that hypocrisy? Irony? Irrelevant? Irreverent?

    ...and btw, I'm listening to Christmas carols on the radio right now.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 8 months ago #
  35. pappymac

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    The first Christmas ad I saw this year and remember was a Victoria Secret one. The wife and I are too old for me to go shopping there.

    My question is where do you shop for kids since Toys R'Us has closed down?

    Cosmic - My grandmother on my mother's side was a born again, die-hard member of the Pentacostal church but she would argue with the church members who didn't celebrate Christmas. They would say "Christmas" wasn't in the Bible. She would argue that "Christmas" was in line with the Bible's teaching about charity.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  36. saltedplug

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    As the government is the reflection of the people so too is the flavor of Christmas celebration determined by those who are celebrating it, be it attemptedly fully thankful for the birth of the man-God/God-man (Meher Baba, God Speaks) or decidedly materialistic. The shops could not pander to our acquisivity did we not act from it.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  37. cosmicfolklore

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    I am not Pentecostal, so I have no first hand idea what happens in there. But, it is my understanding that the Pentacostal churches around here all differ widely from one to the other. I don't walk too close to some of them, because of... snakes.
    Try railing against a Church of Christ like that, ha ha. They actually look for reasons to cast people out. I'm joking, I'm joking, please don't kick me out.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  38. cortezattic

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    The charity and gift giving thing probably has its roots in the gifts of the Magi, which is Biblical. The commercialism is a convenient way to implement a modern commemoration of that.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  39. timt

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    Cortez, that meer is gorgeous and that's a great tradition you've got there. I may just have to get one of those myself.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  40. saltedplug

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    The charity and gift giving thing probably has its roots in the gifts of the Magi, which is Biblical. The commercialism is a convenient way to implement a modern commemoration of that.

    Modern Christmas commerciality cannot in any way, by its greedy magnitude, be compared to the gifts of the Magi. At best this is cynically euphemistic. Not that I disagree

    Posted 8 months ago #
  41. cortezattic

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    My point was that the crass commercialism developed as a result of the way we commemorate the gift giving tradition today. But, I don't disagree with your opinions.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  42. folanator

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    In October I start smoking my Santa Claus meerschaum,
    carved by Medet Kara, a Turk (and likely not a Christian).
    Is that hypocrisy? Irony? Irrelevant? Irreverent?

    ...and btw, I'm listening to Christmas carols on the radio right now.

    As long as you smoke facing West...you're good.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  43. sablebrush52

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    The charity and gift giving thing probably has its roots in the gifts of the Magi, which is Biblical.

    Actually, the custom of exchanging gaily wrapped gifts at that time of the year was Roman, so pagan, but what the heck! Go for it!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  44. cosmicfolklore

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    Gift giving may go all of the way back to, "Hey Adam, you gotta try this..."

    Posted 8 months ago #
  45. timt

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    Actually, the custom of exchanging gaily wrapped gifts at that time of the year was Roman, so pagan, but what the heck! Go for it!

    Uh oh, 2 tins of Holly's Non Plus Ultra are ordered up and ready to ship out if necessary.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  46. chasingembers

    Embers

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    My question is where do you shop for kids since Toys R'Us has closed down?

    They got bailed out and rebranded as
    "Geoffrey's Toy Box". Gamestop usually solves my kids' wish list.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  47. cosmicfolklore

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    Our Toys R Us is still open. I have no idea why. Was all of them supposed to close?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  48. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Actually, the custom of exchanging gaily wrapped gifts at that time of the year was Roman

    Saturnalia was the Roman holiday borrowed from the Greek holiday Kronia.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  49. pappymac

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    Cosmic - Where's your Toys R'Us. We may have to make a day trip to the Birmingham area.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  50. cosmicfolklore

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    Hoover on 31, Old Montgomery Hwy. There used to be a few more in the Bham metro area, but I am certain those closed. I haven't been in the one in Hoover, but their sign is on and the parking lot is always full. Before you make a special trip, I should probably actually go inside. Ha ha, I'd hate for you to get down here to find that it is actually now being used as a dog fighting arena or something, ha ha.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  51. mikethompson

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    Our Toys R Us is still open. I have no idea why. Was all of them supposed to close?

    we still have them in Canada.

    Gamestop usually solves my kids' wish list.

    It is Amazon and home delivery for us.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  52. pappymac

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    All the U.S. stores were supposed to close because of their bankruptcy filings. Pop up stores under the name of Geoffrey's Toy Box are supposed to start opening in stores like Krogers, but not in Lousiana.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  53. cortezattic

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    @jesse, we owe so much to the pagans!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  54. lawdawg

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    My porch is still decorated for Fall with a couple of pumpkins, decorative "scarecrows" from Home Depot, and some orange-yellow-white candy corn lights. My neighbors have a few Christmas decorations up already. I love Christmas, but I wait until after Thanksgiving to put up my decorations. If the Christmas décor goes up two months in advance, it gets stale and boring by the time the actual holiday rolls around.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  55. ken56

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    I'm Still hoping my wife will let me set up my trains on the Dining room table this year...

    Posted 8 months ago #
  56. irishearl

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    Buncha bah humbugs in this thread. No, don't want to think about Christmas nor put up decorations till right after Thanksgiving and take them down first of next year. Christmas does indeed have its roots in paganism and the choice of 12/25 as Christ's birthday is both arbitrary and again tied to pagan roots, but the holiday is wondrous for kids and kids at heart. After decades of hearing Christmas tunes, though, I've had no interest in hearing them for a number of years now. The holiday season also gets my wife in a baking mood, another plus.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  57. lawdawg

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    Buncha bah humbugs in this thread. No, don't want to think about Christmas nor put up decorations till right after Thanksgiving and take them down first of next year. Christmas does indeed have its roots in paganism and the choice of 12/25 as Christ's birthday is both arbitrary and again tied to pagan roots, but the holiday is wondrous for kids and kids at heart. After decades of hearing Christmas tunes, though, I've had no interest in hearing them for a number of years now. The holiday season also gets my wife in a baking mood, another plus.

    Got a bluegrass Christmas album for ya:

    Smoky Mountain Christmas

    Been listening to this short little bluegrass album of Christmas classics every Christmas season for the past few years.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  58. pappymac

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    My Christmas decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and stay up until January 6 or thereabouts. Then they are switched out for the Mardi Gras decorations.

    Here in SE Louisiana we have had a brief bout of "winter" weather with the daytime highs in the mid-40s and the lows in the mid-30s. That makes it sweater weather for me and I love a good bulky sweater. It also the time of year when I start baking cookies.

    Took 3 dozen to the pipe club meeting last night and they didn't last long.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  59. saltedplug

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    The holidays can be celebrated low-key. What doesn't go up doesn't have to come down.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  60. tbradsim1

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    I love it all.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 8 months ago #
  61. sablebrush52

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    One of my favorite Christmas traditions:

    Porky's Blue Christmas

    Posted 8 months ago #
  62. seldom

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    I'm Still hoping my wife will let me set up my trains on the Dining room table this year... [:D]

    Ha! Check out this John Prine if you like. He starts in the introduction: "A couple of years ago I go a divorce for Christmas. So I went out and bought myself an electric train because I never had one before. I brought it back home and nailed it to the dining room table, just cause I could."
    John Prine All the Best

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 8 months ago #
  63. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Me, I don't usually get riled over the "commercial spirit" of the season, even though two of my favorite songs (by good old Tom Lehrer & the fabulous Stan Freberg, God rest him) from back in the 50s pointedly comment on it.

    Being a good Episcopalian I keep my Xmas stuff up till Epiphany. I grew up "Southron" [sic] cradle Presbyterian & the church part was always a big deal. Our family (grandparents included, who were born in the 1880s) always celebrated it both family- & church-wise as far back as I can remember.

    As far as "nomenclature" I don't get bent over it. The so-called "war on Christmas" was always just dog-whistle bull from a certain jackleg to rile up his base. There's never been any "war" on it, just entrenchment against folks who don't necessarily buy into the "Christian nation" crap that's been snottily assumed by the reactionary faction. If somebody wishes me a good season of any sort, I just take it as them being nice & I try to respond in the same spirit.

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  64. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Call it what you will, but anything that can cause this kind of magic is fine with me.

    Christmas Truce 1914

    Posted 8 months ago #
  65. User has not uploaded an avatar

    loadclear

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    I think an interesting interpretation of Christmas is made by Tim Minchin. He is an Aussie musician/comedian/atheist who works atheism into his comedy. He wrote a song called "White Wine in the Sun" about summertime Christmas in Australia, and his happy remembrances as a child.

    A quote from the lyrics:

    "And yes, I have all of the usual objections
    To consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion
    To the westernisation of a dead Palestinian
    Press-ganged into selling PlayStations and beer
    But I still really like it"

    It's a really nice song actually.

    I have no dog in the fight on the religious aspects of Christmas, but I like good music and good comedy. Many of his songs really crack me up.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  66. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    As far as "nomenclature" I don't get bent over it. The so-called "war on Christmas" was always just dog-whistle bull from a certain jackleg to rile up his base. There's never been any "war" on it, just entrenchment against folks who don't necessarily buy into the "Christian nation" crap that's been snottily assumed by the reactionary faction. If somebody wishes me a good season of any sort, I just take it as them being nice & I try to respond in the same spirit

    I had to check twice to see it was you who posted this Bill. Well said.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  67. seldom

    seldom

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    I agree with bnichols. That said if folks want to be grumpy and miserable I'll not stop them (family excepted).

    I recall that Christmas stuff seemed a bit absurd in Swaziland. Christmas falls at the hottest time of the year with the longest days. Yet there were decorations depicting snow covered fir trees and other European winter scenes. It was a bit bizarre to encounter wild giraffes, hippos, and the like on the same day as seeing a traditional looking Santa Claus. Now I find myself in Germany which is the land of Christmas. Pretty soon I'll go to some of the lovely Weihnachtmarkts, probably drink some Glühwein and generally have a good time with my wife and young sons.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  68. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    I agree with bnichols

    Careful, that is a slippery slope.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  69. pappymac

    pappymac

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    You either enjoy the season or not. With nine grand children, I'm on the enjoy the season side. The best present I get each year is seeing their faces - especially the younger ones - when they open their gifts.

    So, just to trigger you Grinches and Scrooges....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXsw8yOxkJk&feature=youtu.be

    Posted 8 months ago #
  70. saltedplug

    saltedplug

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    I could celebrate the good things in life and in Christmas were it not that what I really want to is to celebrate it as it echoes with family. But this I cannot do as they are irredeemable buzzards that still echo in such flight within me.

    Posted 8 months ago #

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