Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter is Generally Cold

I guess it's easy to see why the winter holidays are so popular. A couple or five thousand years ago the winters must have seemed even longer and darker since there was a very real chance you wouldn't survive them.

So, sodding the whole 'Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam' aspect of the holidays for the moment, what do they mean? It's cold, nothing's growing, and it's daaaaaaaaaaaark outside. A feasting tradition was long established before Christianity cobbled Christmas onto the winter solstice. When we slaughtered our Tofurkey at midwinter (after all, everything you didn't kill, you had to feed!) most of us didn't like to watch the people down the street starve and freeze to death. When days were at their darkest and Spring seemed an impossible thing, we tripped down the road with a tuna casserole. (I mean that metaphorically. In my case it would be a vegi-lasagna.)

What I'm getting at is that calling a winter Geschenkschlacht* 'Christmas' seems counterintuitive. It's just not possible that no one thought of giving presents in midwinter till 2000 years ago. When times are hard, we throw bread and garlic fried tofu at each other in all affection. Right? Because if that wasn't the case, we wouldn't have even survived till 2000 years ago. So I want a new word. Not Christmas, not Chanukah, or any of those others- yes, fine; you can keep them as well, but they all make me uneasy. Somehow each one implies (maybe it's only inside my squidgy little head) but each one implies that only those people practicing that religion are kind and good-hearted enough to lend a hand in the mid-winter when times are hard. This is what I object to. "Winter Is Crap, So Let Us Give Each Other Presents" doesn't lend itself to good acronyms.

So, Bloglodytes? Who's got a good name for it? Anybody?

*(love that word! It literally means 'gift-battle.' I envision it a bit like a food fight only with everything wrapped and less messy.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Three Minutes of Your Weekend

are about to be sucked into a vortex, never to be seen again, unredeemable, etc., etc., but in return I give you How to Embarrass Mum and Dad.