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.
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!
Y’all can consider this to be part two to Our Family Thanksgiving Tradition which was published on 25 November 2013. I provide the link only if y’all need to catch up, refresh, or both. Whichever y’all decide to do, just hurry up, we have allot to discuss. When I left off last time I mentioned that we dressed out our wild turkey and set it to soak in a magic recipe. But, before I give y’all those details so y’all might try it out some day for yourselves, y’all must make sure you have one very specific item, and that is a 5 gallon bucket with a tight sealing lid. I prefer to get mine from Home Depot because, to date, they have yet to ever, and I mean ever, fail me for having a leak proof tight lid. But, y’all make that call when I’m not looking. Also, for the meat haters who love to hate it when I write about meat I just want you to know, specifically you, yes, a wild turkey was harmed (killed) to complete this recipe. There, I said it, now get over yourselves and either turn tail and leave or read on. Now, wash the 5 gallon bucket and lid real well, scrub it good. When it is clean and dry place it on a chair and make sure it isn’t going to fall off of it. Place one dressed wild turkey in the bucket, neck up and tail down. Pour two 750ml bottles of Wild Turkey into the bucket with the turkey. Y’all can use the basic run of the mill Wild Turkey if you please, I had a case of Rare Breed leftover from a party when I worked at the club, so I used it, well, two bottles of it anyway.
Open two large cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and pour those in as well. Wash 4 good sized oranges and slice them into 1/4″ thick slices leaving the peels on. Take all of the slices and slice them in half then put them in the bucket. Wash and cut 1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper. Put those in the bucket now. Wash and cut 4 jalapeno peppers and place those in the bucket. I also added 1/4 cub Tabasco Sauce, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup (packed) brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (finely chopped) mint leaves. Whatever space remains in the bucked fill with cool water until the liquid level is about 1 1/2″ from the top. Securely put the lid on and I mean make sure it’s on tight or you will have a mess to clean up. Carefully remove the handle from the bucket and set it aside for now. Lay the bucket on the floor on it’s side and roll it back and forth until you think everything has blended well. As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, take that lid off until you are ready to smoke it. Now, I happen to have a refrigerator that I have taken the bottom shelf out of so my bucket fits just fine, you’ll have to see what works for you as it needs to sit this way for a few days. Mine sat like this for 96 hours (4 days).
After you get your smoker up to temperature it will be time for the turkey. I began my fire with red oak until the smoker would maintain about 500F, then I added some hickory and mesquite which had been soaking in a bigger bucket for a few days that was filled with water. When you are ready for the turkey just pry the lid off the bucket, reach in there barehanded, grab the turkey, and slap it on the smoker. Do not discard the remaining contents in the bucket, some of it will get smoked and some of it will be used in a bit. The remaining contents need to be strained so all of the liquid is removed. One can also “dip” everything out as well. Split the solids in to equal portions. Take one portion and put it in a blender or food processor and puree the snot out it. If it is really thick, add a little Coke. It should come out the consistency of ketchup. Set that mixture back in the fridge. The remaining portion can be placed on a cookie sheet, covered with something, and placed into the fridge. Those will be put on the smoker when there is only about 2 hours remaining. Now, do not open your smoker to look at the turkey because it is doing just fine without you looking at letting the heat and smoke out. Mine cooked for 12 hours. At the 6 hour mark I took the puree mixture and slathered it all over the turkey. Close the smoker. Discard all remaining puree.
Now that you have around 2 hours remaining of cook time, put that cookie sheet of peppers and orange slices on the smoker uncovered. They will be removed when you remove the turkey from the smoker. When the time is up, carefully remove your smoked turkey. Use “hot gloves” so you can grab the whole turkey and keep it together. Place the turkey on your selected platter, leave uncovered, and let it “rest” for around 1 hour. The peppers and oranges can be used as garnish, ground up and put into something, or just eaten, the choice is yours. We cut ours up and make a salsa concoction out of it. Your turkey will slice very easily and should have a deep smoke ring as well as a nice crust on the outside. Now has come the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Making a turkey this way is time consuming and requires quite a bit of patience. Unfortunately there are no short cuts if you want it to come out right. I hope everyone enjoyed this information provided here today. Feel free to share it with family and friends. The more people smoking means the more opportunities there are to explore the best ways to come up with great creations.
Now, I feel inclined to add some things for the meat haters and the anti-alcohol people. First, this isn’t the only way to make a turkey, it is however, my personal way, one that works for me. First, a note about alcohol content in the meat. Since the meat is smoked at a temperature well over 172F (the boiling point of alcohol) for pretty close to 12 hours the remaining alcohol contained in the meat is way less than 5% if any at all. You will be, however, left with all the flavor that the Wild Turkey provides when used in smoking. Don’t believe me, just look it up and the answer will be revealed to you. As mentioned, yes, a turkey was killed, in fact it was killed by my 12 y/o son using a compound bow. You may not think so, but bow hunting has become a lost art with very few in the next generation being taught the skills and techniques. It’s a way of life in my family, we are not city folks, we live in the outskirts of society where being able to provide meat for the table is a gift not a curse. I’m sorry that so many people are against killing animals to eat because it makes it hard for people like myself and my family to enjoy a passion which we have all grown up loving. Unfortunately, you bastards attacked me when I published a post about the hunt, and unfortunately some of y’all will feel inclined to bitch at me and lecture me once again. Well, make sure what you say is worth a shit so I have something worthy of writing about, because if it’s not than you’ve just wasted both of our time. I’m not writing here to offend anybody, I’m just writing about a big aspect of my life, hunting and smoking meats. I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a safe holiday and had an enjoyable time, I know we did. Until Next time, remember to eat it every day.