Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hypocrite Me

You know I love the Christmas season. I don’t actually know why, but I do. It doesn’t have anything to do with getting anything but it may have a lot to do with my childhood memories spent with family during this time of year – oh yea, and the meals.

But I am troubled with myself also about the holiday. I mean, I was taught that it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but it seems that I have learned otherwise. At least since I learned that the twelve days of Christmas actually start on the 25th and end on January 6 (the day orthodox Christians acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ.

Of all the holidays celebrated via European tradition, Christmas is probably the most Western or European of them all. In the early days of this fledgling country, Christmas was not even celebrated and was even outlawed in certain parts of the colonies in the late 1600s. It wasn’t made a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. It was only until after the civil war; with the influx of German immigrants to the United states did it actually begin to spread across the country.

The term Christmas comes from the old English 'Criste Maesse,' and may also be connected to the German word, 'Weihnacht' (Holy Night). Thus I aint surprising that Santa Claus himself also comes from German. But I don’t know if his name “Kris Kringle” or “Sinter Klaus” (which means Klaus of the cinders or as some put – the demon saint of Christmas - in picture with body guards), has anything to do with the Romans (Dionysus was said to have been born on December 25th also-in painting), Horus ,or the birth of Jesus.

History suggest that the Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, “a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.” It was the celebration of the “Lord of Misrule.” “Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering [these] innocent men or women.”

Horus, the Kemetic/Egyptian God of the Sun to was said to have been born on December 25 and that during the times of the Roman empire, during this time period, celebrations were conducted to honor the sun at its farthest distance fro the Earth, returning to bring warmer days – this as during the winter solstice, my birthday Dec 22.

With all of this, and my whimsical feelings toward celebrating a holiday that all I can see objectively merely provides to buttress western economic powers by bringing up sales at the end of the fiscal year and increasing the gross domestic product, I still love this time of year. Why, like I said, my memories of family unity more than all else, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite, hypocrite me, kind of like American me.


SoCal Muchacha said...

I'll see your "hypocrite me" and raise you a "cynical me"...well, at least when it comes to describing myself. Maybe I worked in retail too long and saw the nasty side of humankind this time of year, or maybe it's just the reality that we do NOT need all the "stuff" companies try to shove down our throats or make us feel guilty for NOT having or NOT buying. (See "The Story of Stuff" for an interesting perspective- While I'm not a religious gal at all and have serious issues with hypocrites involved in many organized religions, I do recognize and respect the traditions and festivities of various faiths. Of course I take part in Christmas with family/friends, but that's mostly out of respect to those who already think my ways of thinking are a bit "out there" already. So be it. ;)

Thanks for the great history lesson, Torrance...I always learn something when I pop over here. :)

Mizrepresent said...

We can't help but be a "hypocrite" T. We have been fed so many lies, and have made our own traditions out of lies handled down to's hard to let go, because even knowing the truth our hearts and souls still try to hold on to something meaningful in our small world, a memory. It's alright, and i don't even feel bad about it anymore, i know that this time spent with my family has nothing to do with Germans or Demons. I guess i, like you have made this holiday into what i love and cherish the most, family, love, God, Christ, despite what it's beginnings were...see what God can do.

memphiz said...

I usually dont like the x-mas season, but I do enjoy when my family gets together.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

socal - thanks lil momma, im not religious either. im neither christian, jew, nor muslim, im a scholar and a scientist. i think god is al including me - god by nature

miz - that's the word - family

memphiz - u sound like u more from flip town every day. hapy nappy 2 u and yours, all yawl

Thic Flair said...

you really make it a habit to inform and provoke thought, I like coming here.

dejanae said...

Ditto on what my boy Thic-Flair said. I've been scouring the archives. good stuff.
by the way, I HATE CHRISTMAS.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

thic - good looking, i hope thats positive

dejanae - i hope u consider this to be one of your new homes and do stop by more often

jameil1922 said...

i love Christmas, too. it's unfortunate that commercialism has undermined its meaning.

j.a.c. said...

it's too bad that Christmas is in its originality a pagan holiday. most holidays have their origins in pagan practices (V-day, Halloween, Easter). it's nice that you did the research to find out why you celebrate what you celebrate. most people blindly go around, celebrating holidays they wouldn't agree with if they knew better. it's great to have knowledge!

j.a.c. said...

and you CAN help being a hyprocite. just stop being like the world and stop celebrating. there are a good handful of us that don't.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

jameil1922 - ditto

j.a.c. - point well taken and thank you and its reall a metaphor, i dont celebrate none of the things i recanted, from horus to sinter claus, i only celebrate th spirit f family, i changed its energy to my own needs its just what they cal te time of year , not me, i do and feel th same with famil anytime regardless

Lovebabz said...

I do not think you are hypocrite, perhaps multi-dimensional. I do not concerm myself with the commercialism of the holidays. That it not my experience. I love peace on earth goodwill toward all. I love your excercise of trying to get to the heart and history of the holidays. But it is for me, really about the experience of the season and all the mystery and magic and wonder of the stories of the coming of the Christ child. Whether you are Muslim, or Christian or Jewish or whatever, this time of year is ripe with stories of hope and love and courage and renewal. We do not have to be seduced by Macy's or some other retail big box. We can use this time to reflect and wonder about our place in the world. I give gifts and I recieve gifts. This is happiness; not the actual gift; that is very nice, but the idea that soemone says I was thinking of you in this season of wonder and joy is priceless and divine.

the prisoner's wife said...

the older i get the less i really get moved by Christmas. as a child you are just so caught up in getting gifts. now that i'm older, i don't really care if i get anything, but i feel pressured to deliver things to others.

now that i'm a mommy, i feel like my "christmas spirit" will return once my son gets old enough to get excited about it all. i will try not to make him into some materialistic kid (like most of my students lol), but it's so easy to spoil him cuz he's so cute! lol

Tortoise said...

A French lady told me that during WW2, she got an orange for Christmas.

An orange, people.

I'm tempted to try it out the young ones this holiday.

That Girl Tam said...

I am Pagan...but since I was raised Catholic and my husband is a non-practicing Christian (AND we have 3 children), I try my best to allow my children the opportunity to celebrate like most of their peers.

You didn't mention YULE, the Winter Solstice - which is what I celebrate on December 21st.

For a long time I hated the holidays. It was as rather lonely time for me during my college years. But now that I have a family of my own - and the schools just about RAM everything CHRISTMAS down the throats of our children, I feel bad if I don't let them participate.

We're not a religious family, and I'm pretty liberal because I wasn't RAISED Pagan. I CHOSE to become Pagan after several years of studying before making my decision. I want my children to be well rounded enough to make their own religious decisions when they're able to.

No matter WHAT you celebrate at this time of year, make it a GREAT celebration!

Thanks for stopping by my page...don't be a stranger.

Blessed be!

Arewa said...

Well i guess that makes two of us.I totally agree with you christmas has become so commercialised and has therefore lost its true meaning. Its all about sales and people spending money that they do not have leading them into more debt for the comming year.
I stopped clebrating christmas about 8 years ago so there u go....I guess i have no christmas spirit!!
THANKS FOR STOPING BY MY BLOG, Do stop by again sometime..x x x x

KimPossible said...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I am not buying gifts this year. I have totally decided that I am going to sit with what the real meaning of Christmas is all about and find other creative ways in which to give. Thanks for dropping the knowledge. Enjoyed your post as always.

Drop my the spot today and weigh in on my blog topic. Wanna know your thoughts.
Happy Friday!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Lovebabz - thanks, i dont feel like one, i mesan koving family is all i celebrate

the prisoner's wife - children will do that 4 u

tortise - if it was from the heart then thats the most valuable gift, i just like to give if i get cool if not cool

That Girl Tam - pagan or not, u know the value of family

Arewa - thanks for the drive by and anytime. but to recant i celebrate family, not xmas

will do kim

Arewa -

CapCity said...

I just came thru to holla at a Brother! ;-) Happy Holidays, T-DAWG!!

jali said...

Motivation is everything.

If your heart is in the right place, then despite your knowledge, you'll be able to celebrate.

I wish you happy! (I love this phrase and yes it's grammatically odd)

Anonymous said...

I sent you an e-mail concerning your being my featured writer of the month for Jan. 2008. If you are still interested drop me a line.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Miriam said...

Hi Torrence, I"m back again at your blog. lol

Wouldn't it be interesting if someone were to bring back the original meaning of the holiday and incorporate it to nowadays ways.

Anyway, happy holidays!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

cap - i was hoping u were ok. u jus have a blessed holiday

Jali - thanks for lettin me know its ok, and i need the time nd address of that spoken word stuff when u can

Ingrid speak - thanks hon, what do i have to do, and thaks for the drive by hon

Miriam - thank u where have u bee and yes it would

MrsGrapevine said...

Most traditional holidays are tied to the seasons. We celebrate the birth of Christ during winter solstice, which is when many other cultures celebrate their holidays based on the coming of winter. I think the point should be what do you believe and how do you manifest those beliefs during the season. After all most historians would agree Christ was probably born in October.

We (my husband and I) decided to take a lot of the pagan traditions out of Christmas, along with commercialism and give our children a more christ-centered Christmas. After all it's Christ-Mas that we are celebrating and not winter. We don't decorate trees, we don't believe in Satan Klaus, and we don't buy out FAO Scwartz. My neighbor asked us if we were Jehovah witness since we are so conservative during Christmas, and I politely said no, Jehovah Witness don't celebrate Christmas.

Everyone have their different beliefs, and this is a multi-cultural society. Nothing is pure or sacred, so just know what you believe and take it from there. I don't think there is a wrong or right way to celebrate, we are all hypocrites to a certain extentl

Her Shoe Addiction said...

Do you think most people know this or much less care? Would it change christmas?

Torrance said...

Mrsgrape - i have too, but it still boils down to mindless inculcation, so i mind only the family part

shoe addict - no, butmost folks think America is a democracy when its a republic and it makes a differnce as to how you see things nd expect them to work - but no they dont care unless is on TV or some movie star

Bygbaby said...

xmas has mos def lost its meaning in a global sense. most are concerned with getting this or that ect & not focusing on the "real" for the holiday.

as for myself, i have never really been into xmas but felt pressured to give only the best gifts.

more recently, i have given up religion fully & do not celebrate these holidays, & it feels good to to buy into all of the drama...


MysTery said...

Lol, you are silly.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

BYGBABY - all they want to do is sale stuff.

Mystery - we know im silly hon, just dont ever find out how tickle tickle

Miss White said...

You write on some topics I find fascinating so I'll be checking back... and thank you for commenting on my blog too.

DJ Diva said...

Having seperated myself from the Hebrew Israelites some years ago...I still find myself wondering if we shouldn't be celebrating Hanukah and Passover...not to mention the Christmas tree history...yeesh...I guess I'm just like you bro.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

miss white - thanks hon and do come back pls, more often

DJ - i fel ya

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