7 Myths About Christmas Explained

One time each year, the world acts civilized for a few weeks. The “holiday” season brings out feelings and thoughts of goodwill and brotherhood in the masses, who would normally be at each other’s throats, for one reason or another. It’s a sad as shit commentary on the state of things that humans can set aside their differences and actually be nice to complete strangers, but just long enough to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas so nobody gets their their fucking panties in a knot.

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I say Merry Christmas. Get over it.

Beginning on Black Friday, the day just after Thanksgiving, although it was on Thanksgiving day this year in the United States, the Christmas season is an officially open invitation for Americans to go on a retail feeding frenzy. As long as you’re not battling your way through the mall or other retail big box stores, someone will offer you good wishes for your holiday season. You may, however, be surprised by the number of widely held beliefs that are inaccurate, misinterpreted, or just plain wrong in regards to the Christmas season. Here’s a look at some of the most common Christmas holiday misconceptions, and how they came to be.

#1 Who Wrote “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”?

An anonymous New York resident submitted this well-known verse, “A Visit From St. Nick,” to the Troy Sentinel in 1823. Clement C. Moore, a local professor and poet, claimed it in 1836, though its structure and style matched none of his other published works. Another family in the area came forward to state that their patriarch had been reciting the poem to them each Christmas Eve since at least 1809. Many suspect that the verse came over with Dutch settlers, because of all the cultural references mentioned in the work. Regardless of its origins, the majority of people are familiar with this poem, but don’t have a clue who gets the credit for writing it or it’s actual origin.

#2 Are Real Christmas Trees A Fire Hazard?

Every year, of the millions of Christmas trees put up all over the world, only a small percentage of fires occur that can be traced back to shitty wiring. Generally, the problem is faulty or overloaded wiring, and not the actual tree, that is to blame. Fire safety experts advise that a real tree is no more hazardous than artificial trees, as long as people are “smart” and remember to keep it watered. But hey, we live in the land of blaming inanimate objects for short comings, why change and accept responsibility once a year. Safety? Fuck safety, we need more fucking lights! Right? Right.

#3 Was Jesus Born On December 25th?

Oddly enough, though bible scholars agree that Christ was more likely born in late Spring or early Autumn, many people still subscribe to the belief that Christmas day is the actual date of his birth. Too many seasonal signs in the scriptures point to the likelihood that he was born during a warmer time of the year. The presence of shepherds in the fields is one of the more blatant signs, but I’m just saying. Centuries later, the Roman Catholics were spreading Christianity to the far reaches of Europe, and trying to assimilate the masses of heathens by superimposing the Christian faith over the pagan traditions already in place. In an attempt to overshadow the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, one of Christianity’s more important holy days was intentionally scheduled for December 25th.

#4 Is Christmas The Most Important Christian Holiday?

It may be surprising for many people to discover that, while the celebration of the birth of Christ ranks high in the religious charts, in the eyes of theologians, it comes in second. The birth of the Son of God is an important earmark in history, but the more notable spiritual moment occurred when Christ’s divinity was proven – at his resurrection. Easter marks the historical point where Jesus stopped being a man, and became immortal, and religious scholars consider this the most important landmark in the Christian faith. Interesting enough, the actual date of Easter is also in question, as its springtime celebration coincides suspiciously with the pagan fertility ritual, Ostara, which is where we get Easter eggs and bunnies. Sneaky, huh?

#5 Did Three Kings Visit Jesus In The Manger?

The bible does not say anything about kings visiting Jesus, at any time during his childhood. Scripture states that three wise men followed an exceptionally bright star in the east, finding their way to the Son of God, and bestowing expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Since these alleged ‘wise men’ still believed in astronomical portents, and none of them had a Eurail pass, it is more likely that the magi caught up with Jesus around his first birthday. Centuries later, a mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, depicted the ‘gifts of the magi,’ and the names of the ‘three kings,’ Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar became part of this nativity myth and is still alive and kicking today.

#6 Is It Sacrilegious To Shorten Christmas To “X-Mas?”

The sad truth behind this myth simply illustrates how little modern Christians know about this holiday. Contrary to the belief that people who write “X-mas” are taking Christ out of Christmas, the habit of abbreviating the name is based on the Greek spelling of Christ, “Χριστός.” The Roman spelling also starts with an X. Entomologically, the argument could be made that people who write Christmas as X-mas are keeping the “Christ” in Christmas. This whole ‘X’ thing probably appeals to American rednecks, who can’t spell worth a shit, I know this personally.

#7 Are Santa Claus, Saint Nicolas And Father Christmas The Same Person?

The modern interpretation of Santa Claus, at least in America, is an amalgam of characteristics from several traditions; however, each of these traditions had very different points of origin.

Saint Nicolas was a Turkish bishop who, around the fourth century, dedicated his life to giving to the poor. He died on December 6th, so when the church canonized him, this date became St. Nicolas Day. In the 15th century, as attention focused back onto Christmas, and less on December 6th, Christians of that era wanted to keep the gift-giving tradition, and he became Father Christmas. The Dutch brought St. Nick to the New World, calling him sinterklaas. So, in America at least, Santa Claus is the modern representation of these varied cultures.

These widely held, but incorrect, beliefs don’t dampen the holiday spirits. It is more common these days for everyone to get their panties in a twist when someone says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” Let’s face facts, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but my family and I do, hope that doesn’t get anyone’s ass all chapped. In reality, those who don’t celebrate Christmas don’t offend me, to each his own, the end. Many of your neighbors celebrate Hanukkah, or Kwanza or some will even argue with you to say they are the real Christians who do not believe in Christmas. These days it’s not uncommon to find new age pagans and wiccans, celebrating the Winter Solstice. Count yourselves lucky that, despite your differences, total strangers are willing to extend you the tidings of peace, brotherhood, and goodwill. Considering the intolerance that is so common in the Christian faith and throughout the world, take what you can get from your non-Christian neighbors, and don’t make problems where there aren’t any.

Regardless, of how – or what – you celebrate, have a safe and Merry Christmas season, and a prosperous New Year. So, there you have it, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, Merry Christmas from The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog.

Posted From Scorpion Sting’s Motorola Droid Maxx!

Pushing Beyond Black History Month

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My general focus here today, or any day for that matter, is to ask questions, provide information, and try to understand why selective history is used to create passions with no end in sight. Before we get our collective shorts in a knot let me just state that I speak from my personal family history when I say that my ancestors were not slave owners (of any race). With that being said I am very confident that myself nor my family owes reparations to anyone for the compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage. I have heard that we need Black History Month in the United States to further educate on history that isn’t taught in the schools or has been abolished altogether. Is it true? Is it true that there are people who do not know their own family history? I hear how the United States Government all the way down to local schools have the burden of responsibility to educate people. Let me tell y’all this quaint little fact, they don’t owe anyone anything. Want to know who needs to take responsibility to know their history? Everybody. Everybody who wants to know something needs to dig a little deeper than the schools and the government, they need to look to family for accurate history, our families are the ones who made the history. Besides, the complaint is that the history of the United States is too “white” and does not cover everyone in the same detail.

A part of history one rarely hears or sees is that slavery in the New World could have never taken place with same numbers and impact if it were not for the African elite selling African slaves to European traders. That’s right, Africans were selling Africans for profit. Why don’t we hear this information during Black History Month? I will tell you why, in my simple opinion, because it is hard to sell a struggle when your own ancestors are the root of slavery. Its hard to make it seem as tho the white man chased down and captured each slave that was brought to the American colonies when the truth is more damning. Now, I have had discussions like this in the past with friends, co-workers, and family before and it always ends up being the same outcome, people hating me because a white man pointed out their ugly history to them. What sucks is the fact that when the words came out of my mouth they reacted as if it was the first time they had heard it.

Want to be pissed of because your ancestors were slaves? Want to be pissed off because you are black and have no ancestors that were ever slaves? Want to be pissed off at me for being white? Good, get pissed off. Get good and pissed because the focus on hating an entire race because a portion of it owned slaves seems like the real mainstream thing to do, it’s very trendy amongst celebrities and well known people as well as the man or woman who is sitting right next to you right now. I don’t owe you anything, not even an apology or a condolence. I used to wonder why a black person hated a white person. I know why now. Do you know? We are raised to hate. We are raised to hate oppression. We are raised to hate the oppressors. We are raised that we need an excuse to hate somebody because it isn’t our fault we are the way we are. We are raised not to be responsible for our words and actions. We are raised and taught anger, fear, and retaliation. Why? Is it because the generation before us did the same thing, and so on and so on?

Who here reading this post even knows the origins of Black History Month? Who here reading this post even knows why Black History Month is celebrated in the month of February? That’s right, leave here, go Google it, and then come back because I’m not done yet. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I fully understand why Black History Month occurs. I respect the search for knowledge. What I can’t appreciate is it being used as a platform to promote hate of other races or that people make money on it as profit. Those of y’all who think I’m wrong don’t get out much do y’all? Celebrating one’s heritage and history should also include the darker side of the history. Perhaps even include a question I would like to ask someone who is black, someone who holds strong to the self appointed title of African American, someone who sees the white man as the devil, and for that person who just hates me for my color. If African slaves were not sold by your African ancestors how likely do you think it is that you would have migrated to North America on your own? If there wasn’t a slave trade which your African ancestors profited from heavily, would you still be here today? When you have an answer to both of those questions then come at me with why you still hate the white man.

Okay, so where do we go from here? Who knows. I’m sure I’ve pissed more than one person off. I think it would be nice if I didn’t know more about black history than most blacks know about black history. That would be a nice start. Will I ever see it? That question will remain unanswered and unpredicted. I would like to think that people who want knowledge would rely on multiple sources before coming to a single conclusion. In the end, it doesn’t matter what a person’s race is, at the end of the day we are living in the year 2014 in a country where slavery has been abolished and not living in Africa where slave ownership is currently still a way of life. Sometimes the truth sucks, sometimes the truth sets you free, sometimes the truth makes you a prisoner, and sometimes the words from the unexpected shake up the way you think. And yes, before everyone starts yelling at me, I know Black History Month goes well beyond slavery in history, it is time “set aside” to celebrate the little known to the famous black people that history has chose to overlook or understate.

Yes, I am white. No, I am not your enemy.

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