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And Now For Something Completely Different

funny pictures - Airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

December 25, 2010   7 Comments

Happy Christmas

Holly, Robin & Mistletoe

As usual I’m searching for an audio feed of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge. My local public radio outlet has fallen down on the job lately, in this area as well as others.

The British have some wonderful Christmas customs that have survived the incursion of Christianity, especially the Puritan party poopers. Stealing customs from the Celts, Germans, and Scandinavians, they have created a wonderful holiday that I fondly remember from time spent there.

The bird is a European robin that is featured on British Christmas cards, as it is a Winter bird in England, unlike the fair-weather laggard of the same name in America. It is bracketed by holly and mistletoe. All go back to the druids and solstice celebrations.

If you read the Harry Potter books you will get a taste, but not the full effect of a British Christmas. A full-on Christmas dinner is wretched excess to the nth degree – Thanksgiving on steroids. Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were major influences on the American celebration of Christmas when it made its come back in the US in the latter half of the 19th century.

The BBC has the background on Father Christmas, while most people recognize that Clement Moore and Coca Cola are most responsible for the American concept of Santa Claus. [It isn’t an accident that he dresses in Coke’s corporate color scheme. Moore only mentioned “furs”.]

December 25, 2010   15 Comments