As Christmas draws ever closer I find myself wondering what has become of Wal-Mart's Kirby. It seems to me anyone with his knowledge of history was being wasted as a Wal-Mart customer service employee. But it was a job.
There was a great deal in his now famous e-mail which I did not know. So off to the internet to do some exploring. A huge number of web sites bore like information but I settled on one that seemed quite thorough yet succinct: http://www.prime.org/xmas1.html and on to xmas2 and xmas3.
The site explains the origin of the holidays in Babylon by heathens honoring their pagan gods; how the Catholic church insinuated "Christian" meaning to them to convert idol worshippers to Constantine's new "Christian" religion and how many of those traditions have morphed into what we think of as Christmas today in reality had their beginnings some 4000 years before Christianity. It's a most informative read.
That the Catholic church chose December 25 as the birth date of Christ to compete with pagan winter solstice festivals is exemplary of a struggle for philosophical dominance. All was not as simple and as pure in spirit as we may like to believe but the marvelous traditions that have been blended together from a multitude of cultures over a multitude of years makes the season more far reaching then I had ever imagined. I am aware of how limited my knowledge is and how much rich history is in the season's making.
Is the spirit of the season not about understanding and enlightenment? Perhaps the vocal minority who would have it no other way than their own would do better to open their hearts and minds to more than their own narrow learning.
Me? I can't wait to dig into the section on Easter. That Easter Bunny may still need some protecting.