Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lights, please?

Despite the fact that I know the Christmas story is just a fable, based on recycled solar mythology that was passed down for thousands of years before Jesus is said to have been born, this remains my absolute favorite holiday special, and this is still my favorite part:

I think that it's because I know now that the story is an ancient one, rather than just a tool of the church (even though that's how it's used) that I still have some reverence for it. The story of the god-man born of a virgin on December 25th is an allegory for the rebirth of the sun -- the light of the world -- at the winter solstice in the constellation of Virgo. The three kings, or three stars in the constellation of Orion, point the way to the place where the sunrise takes place on the morning of December 25th. Everything in the Christmas story (and all the gospel stories, for that matter) is an allegory for the movements of the sun, moon, and stars, which, before the invention of television, were the most fascinating thing for people to stare at in the evening ;) The story -- and the holiday celebrating the winter solstice -- has been recycled and attributed to many gods and religious traditions throughout history, although the original meaning has been all but forgotten.

I love it that when we gather to celebrate Christmas (or whatever we choose to call the celebration we observe at this time of year), we're observing a tradition that goes back tens of thousands of years and that is relevant to all people, rather than exclusionary. The sun is the source of life on this planet. Without it, we'd all perish. And so despite the fact that I am no longer of the Christian persuasion, I still enjoy the "Christmas story" -- because I can recognize it for what it is.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!


Ty-Anna said...

I 100% agree and I too love to hear Linus deliver his Christmas speech!! For me it's all about the beauty and tradition of the holiday. I celebrate Yule (the summer solstice) and Christmas (Though I too am no longer of the Christian persuasion) out of comfort in what I grew up with and the opportunity to celebrate family and friends during these cold cold winter months.

Jacqueline said...

Linus is my favorite Peanuts character. how about you?

Maggie said...

I love Linus... although I sort of relate to Snoopy, how he's his own person (dog?) and never does what's expected of him. ;)