Anyone who’s seen the movie Waking Life knows what I mean by the Holy Moment. For those that haven’t, it’s basically the idea that God IS reality, not a separate entity from it; and that the very fact that I’m typing this now and your reading it later is God manifested as reality. God wants to be you, and me, and this post, and your computer and your eyes and everything else you see. So God IS these things, and that’s reality.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. My point of this post was to call bullshit on this whole ‘War on Christmas’ nonsense that’s buzzing like white noise all over the airwaves and net. We have much more important things to be worrying about, like my best friend from high scool getting shipped off to Iraq, or The Valerie Plame case, or Election Fraud, or the news this morning about Bush giving authority to the N.S.A. to spy on Americans after 9-11. Or 9-11 Itself. But again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Consider the following
Happy Holidays is short, literally, for ‘Have Joy in these Holy Days.’ It’s a nice short way of saying Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Joyous Winter Solstice, without taking up all the room.
Makes sense. But let’s keep going.
Ancient Romans decorated their halls with garlands of laurel and green trees lit with candles. Ancient Mesopotamians selected a convicted criminal, gave the prisoner a true king’s place and rank for a day, then at the end of the feast, stripped him of his rights and executed him, sparing the real king in a sacrifice to their gods for a return of spring.
St. Nicholas is a rather recent addition to Christmas lore, but gift giving has been around since at least Mesopotamian times, as a way of paying thanks and offering sacrifice to bring about a joyous new year.
Most accounts of Christ’s birth have him arising in the season of the lamb, widely regarded as referring to springtime when the newborn lambs are bouncing about for the first time.
Christmas, or Christ’s Mass, was actually amalgamated from the Pagan Holy Day of Winter Solstice, when people would light candles in trees hoping for spring to return, or, and is still the case today, chop down a tree, bring it inside, and worship it until Spring returned.
There is much to pray for, and instead of bickering about our differences, we should be singing praises to our common goodness and hope for the future.
We should find hope in the fact that we all have been, and always will be, praying to the same God for the same things. We’ve just been tricked into believing otherwise.
Happy Holy Days indeed.