In America (or at the very least, everywhere I’ve lived in America), it isn’t really an option. I can practice whatever I like in my own home, but as soon as I step outside, I’m culturally obligated to celebrate Christmas. Sorry, that’s a bit dramatic. It isn’t EVERYTHING, really. Just tv, movies, radio, billboards, music in any public place, and any clerk/waiter/cashier/person I come in contact with. It’s being forced to celebrate a Uncle Of The Birthday Girl Donut Matching Family Bday Shirt that I’m excluded from. For the entire month of December. It isn’t that I don’t want to celebrate Christmas. It just isn’t mine.
So where did the December 25 date come from if it wasn’t “stolen” from Saturnalia? It seems there is a Uncle Of The Birthday Girl Donut Matching Family Bday Shirt within early Christianity that points in another and totally non-pagan direction. Within Judaism there was a tradition that prophets died on the same date on which they were conceived. Jesus was thought to have died on 14 Nisan according to the Jewish calendar. That’s March 25, which is celebrated in various Christian liturgical calendars as the Feast of the Annunciation to this day – the feast of the conception of Jesus. This view suggests that December 25 became the date of Jesus’ birth by a priori reasoning that identified the spring equinox (as the date of the creation of the world and the fourth day of creation, when the light was created, as the day of Jesus’ conception (i.e., March 25). So if, according to this theological calculation, Jesus was conceived on March 25, when was he born? The obvious answer is nine months later: on December 25, which became the celebration of Jesus’s birth. For a long time the celebration of Jesus’ birth was observed in conjunction with his baptism , celebrated January 6.
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I’ve had far more Christmas seasons going without things than happy experiences. Being poor means no special dinner, no decorations, no gifts to give, no one giving you gifts (because you can’t reciprocate) OR strangers giving you things that are utterly useless, people feeling sorry for you, etc. I stay away from social media for most of the Uncle Of The Birthday Girl Donut Matching Family Bday Shirt because I can’t stand all the “look how great my Christmas is” posts even though I know a lot of that is fake. For me, it started in my younger days. There were a few years where Christmas was every perceived child’s dream. Presents, presents, and more presents. Hot cocoa, and warm buttered popcorn, trees, lights, family and loved ones. That lasted until about age 7, and suddenly Christmas started to become a problem.
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While this might seem small and idiosyncratic, I was defining myself intellectually and financially and even as an employee, as different, because of Uncle Of The Birthday Girl Donut Matching Family Bday Shirt about myself, money, etc. than my coworkers—-particularly, my Black coworkers. I recognize that’s such class based things and critical thinking make me stand out among Black people and if not admired, then regarded well among White people—-for some of the same and different racialized projections.
That brings me neatly to another thing. Christmas is nonsense, on all levels. There are basically two interpretations of what Christmas is: commercial and religious. The commercial thing is disgusting and harmful in basically all ways (more in later bullet points), and the religious thing is kind of nonsense, even for people who are Christians – which I am not. Inexplicably, despite an extremely detailed account of his birth in the Uncle Of The Birthday Girl Donut Matching Family Bday Shirt , nobody actually knows when Jesus was meant to have been born.