WITH ONLY CASUAL GESTURES TO TRADITION…
(…we now celebrate Christmas by mostly fake symbolisms)

It was probably inevitable.

As our American society became ever more diverse, emphasizing –pluribus- over – unum-, the religious foundations of our Christmas festivities eroded from these towards not only more secular observances of them, but also, shifted ever closer to their Roman Saturnalia roots as well, as an excuse for similar hedonistic excesses to offset any mid-winter –blahs- we might have.

It shouldn’t be surprising, of course, since the early Christians shrewdly glommed onto that pagan festival as their best way to convert those Romans to their new faith; and, to further consolidate that conversion, they also adapted the pomp and trappings of the former Roman imperium to it as well (with today’s Papacy being the distant relic of that). So there’s a certain irony here because we Americans seem to have come full circle with it, back to that Saturnalia form, as with only casual gestures to tradition we now celebrate Christmas by mostly fake symbolisms…Joy-to-the- World – and –Oh, Holy Night – have been replaced by –Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – and merchandising  – Black Friday – events to induce mass stampedes to frenzied orgies of materialistic consumption for every conceivable kind of product, complete with gaudy trappings and wrappings to match.

An even greater irony lodges with our fixations on that iconic – Christmas Tree – (itself derived from pagan Teutonic origins) which we install with great pomp and ceremony in our public squares…only to find that it is no longer a natural tree, but a completely synthetic one along with its decorations. Adding to such fakeries, political correctness has also intruded its idiocies by banishing any public displays of Christmas’ religious roots, such as manger scenes or the singing of carols, lest these might “offend” those of other faiths, even though such carols are happily blared out 24/7 through every merchant sound system just to maintain that shopping frenzy (we should never underestimate our politicos’ byzantine convolutions of  logic to justify such nonsense). And lord help anyone who makes the now socially unacceptable faux-pas of greeting others with – Merry Christmas ! – instead of –Happy Holidays! -. Well, as old Mr. Scrooge might say…Bah! Humbug!

But since I’m totally politically incorrect anyway, I will continue to abide by some of those old-style observances…with cheery  Merry Christmas to others, or perhaps attending a grand choral and symphonic performance of Handel’s –Messiah-, or, even a fine midnight mass… somewhere …followed by the post-mass sharing of a modest feast at home with a few acquaintances and friends (of other faiths), well lubricated with appropriate libations, and otherwise observing the spirit expressed by the carol –God Rest Ye Gentlemen, Let Nothing You Dismay –.

Even so, to show I’m not an absolute traditional “purist” about it all, and to give the nod to the way things are done today, I may just replace that traditional wreath of greenery on our front door, with a made-in-China realistic plastic imitation of one in the form of brambles and thorny twigs instead, on which will hang a piece of cardboard inscribed with a hand printed note: WARNING! HIBERNATING GRIZZLY. DO NOT DISTURB TILL APRIL!

Oh, yes, just one last thing…please…if you see mommy kissing Santa Claus…keep it to yourself…and don’t post it on YouTube! Let’s still keep some of those happy traditions about Christmas for the kids, okay?

CENTURION