Christmas Isn’t What You Think!!! Blogmas, Day 3
Personally, I’m not a fan of Christmas with its obligations, shopping, and forced festive vibe. It appears that modern day humans miss Christmas’ deeper experience. Or maybe they are unaware there could be a deeper experience. Maybe they believe that Christmas IS about buying things on sale, at midnight, on Thanksgiving Night. Maybe they learned that love IS the purchase of an on sale forty-inch television. That waiting expectantly in line in a parking lot for the store to open, is the same feeling as waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. How have we progressed from Christmas sacredness to shopping excess?
The Christmas hopefuls want to believe Dr. Seuss’, small hearted character the Grinch when he awakens and contemplates, “Maybe Christmas, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means “a little bit more.”
Can it be possible that Christmas means “a little bit more” than spending excessive amounts of money? Let’s begin with a quick peek at Christmas’ past. Hoping history points us toward the “little bit more” we need to reclaim.
Zoe Mintz, the author of “Winter Solstice 2014: 3 Things to Know About the Pagan Yule Celebration” teaches that “Originally the Christian calendar focused on Easter. It was only in the fourth century that the church decided Jesus Christ’s birthday should be celebrated. Since the Bible did not point to an exact date when Christ was born, Pope Julius I chose Dec. 25. It’s commonly believed that the church chose the date in an effort to replace the Roman Saturnalia with the Christian holiday.”
The Roman Saturnalia was a rowdy, lawless festival honoring Saturnus, the agricultural god. Once the fall planting was complete, they launched into debauchery. This carnival like celebration also marked the renewal of light known as the Winter Solstice. To throw an Ancient Roman Saturnalia all you need is to
– Wear the colors of the festival
– Adorn your doors, stairs, and windows with greenery and wreaths. Add acorn, stars, and pinecones
– Decorate your outdoor tree with sun symbols and stars
– Make cookies in the shape of stars, moons, fertility symbols, and herded animals
– Sip Mulsum, a drink of wine and honey
– Greet people with the holiday greeting of ‘lo, Saturnalia
– Invite your friends and family for a feast
– Give friends and family small gifts of food, sweets, candles, or lamps
– Create an alter for Saturnus
– Celebrate freedom
– Include everyone
Have you noticed that Saturnalia’s preparations and gathering sound unerringly like our Christian Christmas celebration?