This year I didn’t wish any of my Christian friends “Merry X’mas” because am secular. I refuse to celebrate ANY festival. That would also give people an opportunity to point out that am favouring the minority since I have been so vociferous in my disapproval for “Hindu” festivals.
2 years back we went to Selectcitywalk mall on X’mas evening. How many people actually celebrate this festival? Or so I thought. We were shocked by the largest crowd I have ever come across. We vowed not to venture anywhere near malls or popular places on X’mas or New Year’s.
I don’t know when X’mas became such a huge festival. My idea of X’mas as a kid was getting winter (instead of summer) vacations in school because the nuns didn’t want nasty kids around when they orgasmed together on the birthday of their “husband”. Easter was more significant for me because of the midnight mass, easter eggs, Palm sunday and reading the bible. Easter wasn’t fun but it was a departure from our drab, strict, boarding schedule. X’mas morning dad would get all of us chocolates and that was it. Our lives were far, far, far away from the boozey parties.
I have a sneaking feeling most people celebrate this festival because it gives them a reason to drink and party. It’s like Holi which is known for colour spraying and bhaang parties or Diwali with it’s card parties and fire crackers. Nobody even remembers WHY they are celebrated.
I think some fire cracker manufacturer was worried about sales during non wedding season and hired a senior sales guy from a big cold drinks company (I am not taking names but the company name does NOT start with “C”) to show direction. The sales guy zoomed in on festivals and Diwali was the natural choice unless they invented waterproof crackers and went with Holi. The company aggressively advertised during Diwali and made it synonymous with fire crackers. The manufacturer made lots and pots of money while the sales guy went to prison over charges of child labour.
The events depicted above may or may not be fictional. No effort has been made to change the names of places or people. Any similarity to any person living or dead is intentional
Anyway, here are 10 facts about X’mas you should know if you are celebrating it. In fact, all parties should allow entry only if a person knows these.
- X’mas is the birthday of Jesus. Jesus was NOT born on 25th December.
There are no records of the date. Pope Julius I (in the 4th century) chose 25th December as the date of his birthday.
- Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph in a stable. Mary is supposedly a virgin.
Three wise men visited Jesus and gave him gifts. This is why gifts are exchanged on Christmas. The scene is created in many Christian homes and all churches and called The Nativity.
Mistletoe is a plant hung in homes. According to tradition you have to kiss the person you are standing with under a mistletoe.
Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas who was a Christian Bishop living in Turkey. He had inherited a lot of wealth which he donated to the needy and became the protector of the needy.
People hang stockings on their chimneys for Santa Claus to leave presents in because of this- A poor man with 3 daughters couldn’t afford dowry to have them married. One night, Santa Claus dropped a bag of gold down the man’s chimney so that his oldest daughter would get married, and the bag fell into a stocking drying by the fire.
Why does every tradition have their roots in a sexist story?
- The traditional red suit of Santa comes from a Coca Cola ad in the 1930s.
8. Rudolph was actually conceived by a department store, Montgomery Ward, as a marketing gimmick to get kids to buy holiday colouring books
Nope, Rudolph is not real either. Sorry
- Christians attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, after which the festivities start.
The day after Christmas (26th December) is called Boxing day. On this day, servants received gifts from their employers in the olden days. But now, it is celebrated as Shopping Day with major sales. You need to know this because this tradition has arrived in India with so many sales starting today.
Basically, my views about X’mas are the same as those for Diwali. Though I do give the church goers credit for their consistency in going for Sunday masses. Masses are boring as fuck.
I remembered this interesting discussion I had with APC in December 2006 about Christianity here.