Tuesday, December 7, 2010

not my typical blog

Sun god: Ra
Decking the halls with boughs of holly... this was a tradition started by ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, druids and early Romans. These people worshipped pagan gods such as the Egyptian God Ra. During the winter solstice, the people beleived that Ra, the egyptian sun god was getting weak, but on the day of the solstice the people celebrated his renewal of strength by bring in greeneries into their homes to represent the victory of life over death , and everlasting life.
This pagan traditon like many, was borrowed by Christians several years after the birth of Christ to represent the victory of life of death and evelasting life through Christ. During htis season many things outside die and the world looks fairly grim ( except in warm places like the caribbean of course) but here and there we see little bits of green peeking though in forms of pines, giving us hope of new life to come.
Many people still deck their halls with greeneries. Though more and more each year, it seems that people are not decking their halls with the right kind of green. Instead people are decking their halls, with money, and greed, and the need to out buy the person in front of them in line. I love Christmas, I really do. It's a fantastic time of the year. Seeing houses decked and trees lit really creates a festive mood. But when I go to a store during this time, I see so many frustrated and angry people, and it makes me wonder if they really know what this season is about. It's not about getting your kid the latest technology, or your spouse a ridiculously expensive watch. I think its a nice idea that we give each other nice gifts, but I think we've all gone a little mad. My family decided not to do gifts this year. Although I did get a nice tea cup set and ceramic vase from my parents. I thought it was nice just to get together and enjoy each-other's company. I think that instead of buying materialistic and over priced things, we should give more to people in need. My church does this thing where you can purchase goats or school supplies and other stuff for people in 3rd world countries. I think that is a fabulous idea.
Growing up my family celebrated Sinterklaas, as I am dutch and was born in the Netherlands. this was separate from Christmas, and celebrated on the 5th of December. This is when gifts would be given and such. Not on Christmas. Christmas is a time to reflect on the birth of Christ.  I think this is a tradition that I want to bring into my family when we have kids one day. I don't want then to lose the real meaning of Christmas in the hustle and bustle of the money hungry consumerism.

   Happy Holidays  

   Seasons greetings  

   Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jelma,

    I appreciate this post a lot. I have been doing a lot of people watching over this holiday season and have been noticing much of the same thing (especially after watching Black Friday footage on youtube, now that's just sad). It seems that this year in particular the Christmas songs have come on the radio VERY early (though I was impressed that Magic 100 plays hymns as well) and that Christmas decor went out as soon as the halloween decor was taken down.

    My family has also been slowly weeding out the Christmas gift-giving tradition. A few years ago we decided to spend some time out of town for a weekend together to spend quality time as a family. This year we aren't going anywhere, but we're still not putting much of an emphasis on gifts. I think that some of the traditions are great fun, but you are right that we need to really focus on why we celebrate this holiday (even though it started out as a pagan holiday...I think they date Jesus' birth to sometime in September actually. Or it may have been his birth in the spring and easter's like in august or something like that). Anyway, the point is that people are forgetting and they are focused way too much on material stuff.

    I was reading the Metro, our local free newspaper, and they were saying that the Mission (a place for the homeless) was actually out of food for a day or two, which rarely happens. They, and the Salvation Army here are REALLY asking for old clothes and scarves and mitts that they can give away for the homeless this year. I might raid my bin of winter gear and see what I can drop off at the Mission.

    Anyway, thanks for this post! It's a great reminder to everyone! :D