Proud Grinch and festive cynic Kate Turner looks into the origins of the celebration she holds so dear, Christmas. As in, “Oh dear.”
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the …”
“Fuck off!” And there it is, the Grinch has spoken.
I wasn’t always this way. Before my kindergarten school teacher told me that Santa Claus was in fact not real, I loved the celebration. I disclosed the truth to my little best friends too. Sorry not sorry. If I was going down, so were they. See? That was me, a little bitter Grinch in the making.
I was around five at the time; yeah maybe my parents’ divorce had a bit to do with my deflated joy, but nonetheless, ’tis the season for joy, but ’twas not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I wore a smile, but it was just a facade to divert the onlookers from wondering what’s up with that little Grinch kid. And I still do that.
As I got older and watched younger kids unwrapping their hundredth toy, and let’s be real, a toy that they would probably play with once, I began to loathe it. I mean, jolly people … what a bunch of bastards.
But this year, as the day is fast approaching, it got me thinking … where did Christmas originate? Why must we celebrate it? What is the dealio? Is it for our religious beliefs … or because it’s a nice happy thing to do … I don’t know? Well, I intended to find out! And I did … so here we go.
Gets this, our so-called jolly Christmas day originated as a freakin’ pagan human-sacrificing 12-day celebration in Scandinavia! (Spits out diet cola.) I’ll keep going … pagans practiced their dark arts out in the open and murdered a bunch of people, to honor the gods of sex and fatality. Well, holy shit!
Why do we celebrate on the 25th? I’m glad you asked. Mithra, the god of the sun was born on the 25th of December. So, from like the beginning of December till the 24th they would celebrate him. Having orgies and more of those sacrifices, and on the 25th, they’d have an orgy to end all orgies. Orgy!
But, having to witness this eyeful, the Roman Catholics were like, “Enough already! We’re sick of seeing you all banging on the streets, and we can’t join in, how about we adopt you into our religion and all of us can celebrate together, orgy style!”
So this went on for yonks, until the Middle Ages when a group called The Puritans, a heavily religious group, had had quite enough, so they made it a law that these carnal shenanigans had to stop.
Yes, you have read all this right. Back in the day, thousands of years ago, this had nothing to do with Jesus, nothing to do with a Saint Nicholas or the evil Krampus, it was for witches to worship their gods and get their jollies off.
Still feeling innocently “jolly” my Xmas peeps?
So why do we now know it as a birthday for Jesus Christ?
Well, when the Catholics adopted the ritual into their own religion, they replaced the celebration of the god of sun’s birthday with the birthday of the son of God; made sense to them. The god of sun was probably like, “What the hell?”
Right, now that I’ve probably sent some of you into a state of the doldrums, let’s keep it going and move onto decorations.
Here is an open letter to city councils everywhere:
Why oh why must you put up red and gold tinsels, and Santas, and nativity scenes on November 1st? I mean, as soon as Halloween is over, the next morning, look who’s here, it’s Rudolph! He knows he’s like two months early, but what the hell.
Can’t we have a little break in between? I was hoping for a breather, a relief moment that one holiday is over, but here is the next one ready to steal all my money. Please stop it.
Okay, I’ll admit I can get a little cynical this time of year, but gees! Why is everyone so joyful?
Which brings me to my next question: Why is everyone so joyful?
That, or the flip side, why is everyone ready to kill each other? Why do we look forward to that?
I’ll give you two alternative Christmas days.
Everyone is smiling like they’re on acid. Where pre-Xmas usually you get smacked with statements like, “What the hell are you doing with your life, Kate?” “Got a boyfriend yet?” Well that one is a daily topic … but you know what I mean. Everyone is overly nice it makes me sick. It’s like that day we’re all Stepford Wives. Walking around looking way too happy.
Or on the flip side, it’s arguments from 6:00 a.m. till 6:00 a.m. the next day. Everyone is glaring at each other from across the tense room. People are complaining about their Xmas gifts crying out, “You don’t know me at all,” and you’re thinking, You’re fucking welcome! I only spent half a paycheck on it for you!
The only detail you forgot when heading back home to family for Christmas is that you are heading back home to family for Christmas. And now you hope there’s grog or you don’t know what you may do.
Honestly, I’d probably prefer to skip the whole thing and board a submarine to the bottom of the ocean.
Well, I hope you pagans enjoy your time among loved ones. But remember, you better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout … oh I don’t care.