Saturnalia

Saturnalia

“Can we remember (more often) that we’re here for each other … that the good feeling we get more often around our winter holiday of choice comes from a love we can have every day?

I spend a lot of time thinking about why we do the things we do (like my thoughts about sandbagging joy I shared a couple of days ago).

When I first looked into Christmas … why we celebrate it and where it came from … I was pretty surprised.

You ready?

It looks as if the early Christian church was looking for a way to compete with the pagan celebration of Saturnalia … a month-long festival honoring the god of agriculture, Saturn. Apparently, during Saturnalia (are you laughing at this word yet?) there was also a group of Romans who celebrated the birth of a sun god named Mithra (who was born from a rock).

Mithra’s birthday was December 25.

So … bottom line … a fourth-century Pope took over 12.25 and set it as the day the Christian church would celebrate the birth of Jesus … a day that wasn’t celebrated until that point.

I bring this to our attention because none of us wants to knowingly go through the motions. ( No Gomos, right?)

To me … many of the holidays we celebrate allow us to compartmentalize our gratitude and care rather than make them a regular part of our daily lives … missing out on a daily celebration we might more often enjoy.

At Christmastime, we might embrace getting together more and giving gifts (things) to each other, yet at the same time complain about the busyness (and business) behind it all. (“Let’s get together after the holidays when everything settles down.”)

Then we go into a new year, pausing and reflecting at certain points over certain things dictated by our federal holiday calendars and those of our chosen faiths.

But in our day-to-day (the bulk of our time here) opportunities for care (love), will we be awake enough to avoid going through the motions and make a positive difference to others whenever (wherever) we can… despite the particular day? (Will we Cross The Line and Love Our People?)

Can we remember (more often) that we’re here for each other … that the good feeling we get more often around our winter holiday of choice comes from a love we can have every day?

“But then it won’t be special.” ( special [adj.]: being other than the usual)

Wouldn’t that be great?

12.25 is arbitrary. Merry Today.

If we missed you earlier this month, you might also like Keeping Christmas by Henry Van Dyke. It's a wonderful 2.5-minute essay originally published in 1905 … a great family read for the weekend.

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