Friday, December 25, 2009

Yule (A Suggestion)

Christmas Tree, by Gareth Pugh (2008)

I'm of the opinion that Christmas should always be on a Sunday, just as Thanksgiving Day is always on a Thursday.  The holiday is inherently anticlimactic, with the potential for spoiling every day of the week except Sunday, which, let's face it, most of us have already gotten used to being pretty much a washout.  Things shutting down on a Friday, like today, just seems cruel.  In fact, putting Christmas permanently on Sunday would give Sunday a little color, at least for one Sunday out of every 52.

Putting Christmas on Sunday should also make the Christians happy, putting Christ back into Christmas and letting them just go to town singing hymns, building creches, and feeling holy.  Nobody believes that Jesus was born on Christmas Day anyway.  Christmas became Christmas because the tenth-century church wanted to put the kibosh on pagan midwinter celebrations, like Yule.

Now, Yule is another story.  We could keep Yule as a fun time, to celebrate peace and fertility (or the Germanic divine-mothers) the old-fashioned way, for three to twelve days sometime from late November to the beginning of January, depending on the lunar calendar.  We could probably dispense with the animal sacrifice or wild hunt (though an NRA tie-in could help popularize the revival of Yule in the South), but we could maintain the tradition of decorating logs and trees, singing our hearts out, lighting bonfires, and drinking heavily.  It would be a great time for all, including non-pagans.

The important thing is, if we're going to shorten operation hours at the mall and stop mail service for the day, Christmas on Sunday would ensure that we don't get two boring days within three days of each other.  Not to say that shopping at the mall or getting junk mail is all that much fun, but at least it's nice to have options for stuff to do.

And then Christmas could be all about the "true meaning" and shit, and everybody could coo over the baby Jesus, and angels, and shepherds, and wise men, and Yule could be about "happy holidays" and laughter and irreverence and sex and just getting along and fun.

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