On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Happy Christmas

Holly, Robin & Mistletoe

[As I listen to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, I thought I would re-run this post from last year.]

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.

The BBC has the background on Father Christmas.

4 comments

1 andante { 12.24.07 at 11:50 am }

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is my favorite tradition, especially when performed by Kings College. As is any boy choir performance of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.

Our own version of Latter-Day Puritans seem to have forgotten it’s sinful to celebrate Christmas or any holiday.

2 Bryan { 12.24.07 at 12:29 pm }

That crowd among my ancestors who arrived in New York from Granby, Massachusetts were real downers on holidays. Four white walls and sermon really was their idea of a church.

The Nederlanders who arrived first. on the other hand, kept the celebrations but avoided building churches, which is why many “American” traditions came via Holland. It takes a sense of humor to call your country “Hell”.

3 fallenmonk { 12.24.07 at 2:09 pm }

Merry Christmas and any other of the great winter holidays that you may celebrate. Happy New Year.

4 Bryan { 12.24.07 at 3:01 pm }

Thanks, FM, I intend to try.