The War on Christmas Season is in full swing. Coincidentally, the Winter Solstice is fast approaching. Choices, choices.
The War on Christmas is a bit of a sad joke, really, with the likes of Bill Donahue insisting that Santa is getting short shrift. With so many atheists and other non-believers celebrating the holiday and even calling it Christmas, it’s difficult to take it seriously. “I really like Christmas,” sings Tim Minchin, and then goes on to describe the celebration of sunny Christmases of the land down under. I wonder if the right-wing screamers ever consider that it’s not going to be snowing all over the world in December.
We who don’t believe may have to admit to taking advantage a bit when we remind others that we’re here during this holiest of seasons. Our recent billboard declaiming the Nativity as a myth was bound to shock a few of the more zealous tinsel-hangers, even though said mythology is obvious and provable. That anyone on earth should point out that the Emperor has no clothing or that a sacred myth might not be real is not to be tolerated in the Land of the Free and the Home of Baby Jesus.
But they left something out of the myth, didn’t they? What did the Baby Jesus Family do with all the riches they got from the three kings? Gold, frankincense, and myrrh would have been worth, well, a king’s ransom in those days. These homeless waifs huddling in the manger straw would have been wealthy enough to buy a small city, and yet you never hear of what they did with all that gelt.
And poor Joseph, a mere gigolo to the process – who could blame him for taking another wife or two? After all, his lovely bride refused to consummate the marriage. It doesn’t take more than a few brain cells to realize how they would have stood out in a Jewish community.
And of course there were scribes standing around recording the entire event for posterity – the unattended kings riding around the desert on camels, because that’s what kings do, isn’t it? The stars whooshing around in the sky, because that’s what stars do, right? And here it is, the middle of the night. Will somebody get that little drummer boy to stop making that racket?
Meanwhile, back at the Solstice, some of us are already tired of winter, tired of the snow and the cold and the heat bills and the short, dark days. When old Sol rests in the sky it doesn’t change much and maybe the worst is still to come, but we can watch the days get longer and think that summer is coming, even if it’s still a long way off. Something to celebrate.