Last week I shared about the origins of some of the components of 'Christmas time', which you and I celebrate, in this “Season of Giving'. As with most things we are not as original as we would like to think. We borrow from our past. For instance, if nobody had invented the car you wouldn't be driving a vehicle now, so no matter how young or how old we are, we need to see that we owe many things to those who've gone before.There are many influences that have collaborated for us to arrive at the way we all celebrate Christmas. Of course there are variations, but the majority enter into the common experience of the 'Christmas season', and despite what some may believe, it is not the commercialized aspect that I'm referring to.
For instance in our home we start the celebration of the 'Season of Giving' in early October for 'Thanksgiving'. That's when we turn on our lights, hydro bills be 'dashed', this is more important, it's a 'giving thing', to the world around. We believe that those who gave their lives, in much the same way as our Saviour “Christ”, in order to procure peace and good will for those whom they love, and for all who will enjoy these benefits afterward, should not be denied a thorough acknowledgement. One day is not enough. From those who gave there lives discovering our land, to those who have fought to secure it continually, a recognition of there unique nature, a mix of boldness seeking to secure the liberty of the quaint, should be celebrated by encouraging our whole culture to live a life of giving of themselves. This starts with commemorative celebrations like Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day (very similar to Veterans Day in the US), continuing on through Christmas, all merged into a 'Season of Giving'. This is what we have, if you take a look, and it's a good thing.
For those who do the Santa thing at Christmas, ours is the Hungarian version on the night of December 5th, being the eve on which Szent Mikulás (or Miklós), their version of Saint Nicholas, traditionally is thought to visit the homes of Hungarian children. By the way, did you know that the real Saint Nicholas was a Turkish monk and a firm believer in our Saviour. As my wife is Hungarian on her father's side, we start our Christmas celebrations very early in December. Then there is the Standard, Dec 24th and 25th,Western placement of Christmas, in order to incorporate all of the good aspects of previous celebrations at this time of year (see last weeks editorial on the pre-Christ, Greek and Roman celebrations). But in our family, to challenge the cold of the winter, and all things being equal, so as not to give the cold attitude of the 'Humbug spirit' any place, we celebrate the Ukrainian time of Christmas as well, as that is the cultural heritage on my fathers side. This is placed exactly twelve days after our Western one.
Humm..., 'Twelve days', that reminds me of a Christmas song. Happy Giving Tide.
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