Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Odds and Ends

Someone said that people will not take me seriously if I talk about gay Christians and space aliens, but there are groups around the world that sit up and take notice when these issues come up in the public domain of the internet. Since Sunday, I have had 37 hits from Russia, 14 from Portugal and 1 each from Ukraine and the Philippines. I wonder where they come from and how they find the Ground Hog, but they do. I am glad you stopped by. You should drop me an email.  I would like to hear from you.

The trivia question at Caribou Coffee in Altoona today was, "In the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, what is the gift on the ninth day?"

I was guessing, but my answer was correct - it's nine ladies dancing. I got 10 cents off the usual large cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. And yes, that is quite a bit of caffeine. In the early days, I would get a warning from the attendant; "You know that's 5 shots of espresso right?". People worry too much. It was like I was going to sue them if I got heart palpitations. I live for heart palpitations. I feel alive. It's my nature to be a bit melancholy and sluggish, particularly in the morning. This beverage brings me right out of it. As a co-worker said, "Jeff, you'll get used to it".

Now I have a confession to make. I know that by now you thought you had heard everything about me, but alas, this is not so. I know some of you will recoil in horror when you hear this, but it's true and I think you need to know.

I hate Christmas.

There I said it. It's good to get it out there so people can deal with it. I suppose that the first question that comes to mind is, "why?"

It always fills me with guilt and and self loathing and I am not sure why that happens, but I'm sure there is some long, involved psychological explanation for it.  There are also the environmental factors. It is dark for extended periods of time during this season. From about 4:30 PM to 7:00 AM there is darkness. This is very depressing. I hate it.

There is also the FACT that December 25th is NOT Jesus' birthday. If you are a Christian you should know this and know better than to get caught up in all the paganism. The holiday that you are celebrating that is falsely attributed to Christ is actually the festival of Saturn. It was a holiday celebrated by the Romans and other ancient cultures to commemorate the winter solstice which I believe occurs on December 21st. The festival or "Saturnalia" lasts from about 12/21 to 12/26. In ancient times, the festival involved all kinds of debauchery.

The birth of Jesus came to be associated with the Saturnalia when the Roman government became infested with Christians. The emperor of the time, Constantine, wanted everybody off work at the same time, so he found someone that would tell him that Jesus was born during this time period. That way, Christians could celebrate the birth of Christ while the pagans were celebrating the return of the Sun and longer daylight hours. I'm with the pagans on that one. Anyway, there you have it. Christmas on a cracker.

I am also fond of quoting Jeremiah 10:3-5 to my Christian brethren when I point out the pagan nature of their holiday.

For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.

It's funny every time I read it. Have you put up your scarecrow yet? Have you chosen your Christmas tree? Or do you keep yours in a box in the basement with your other Xmas decorations? 

It's about consumerism people. It's about conditional love, naughty and nice, making a list and checking it twice, and a "jolly old elf" that's more like a burglar or a voyeur or a drunk than a benefactor.

What do you mean it's about giving? Seriously? Isn't it about getting? Come on. 

How about this? How about we give to each other all year round with out any expectation of receiving anything? Can we do that? Have you ever gotten an unexpected non holiday, non birthday gift. It is so refreshing, so smile making, so joyful. 

"So when was Jesus born?", you ask. 

There are many that say it was in the spring lambing season in Palestine. This would make more symbolic sense as Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. I do have a favored time though. I believe He was born in mid to late September, just prior to Yom Kippur. 

All of this is my opinion based on much circumstantial evidence and now you know why I hate Christmas. It's all a lie, like Santa Claus and paganism, designed to make you buy stuff you don't need for people you may or may not like. 

Call me curmudgeon. Call me Scrooge. Whatever I am, I'm freer than you. Think about that one as you get manipulated into buying just one more gift that you cannot afford.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!  

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