"I wish it could be Christmas every day", the song goes.
And, you know, as sentiments go, it's not a bad one. Christmas day is a time of great meaning and significance.
It is a day when you don't have to go to work (at least I don't) and you can slob around the house stuffing your face with food and booze and not feel too guilty about it.
You can compliment this inactivity with sitting on your lardy arse all day looking at videos and You Tube - TV programming is deliberately worse than usual on Christmas day for this reason - and nobody bats an eyelid.
Maybe you're a bit more "spiritual" than me? If so, that's your affair, and I hope you enjoy the day in your own way.
For me, one of the best summaries of the significance of Christmas can be found in a book I received from my sister-in-law, when she visited us from Brussels a couple of years back. It featured in 2010's Christmas Day blog.
I'll repost it today, as I think it's very good.
Given the day that's in it, I've just been flicking through "There's Probably No God - The Atheist's Guide to Christmas", edited by Ariane Sherine. A very good read I got from the sister-in-law.
There's a short story in it by Jenny Colgan, who expands on her idea of what Christmas is all about for the discerning atheist:
"In the northern parts of the world, the winters are long, and cold and dark, and people would get sad and miserable. So they have always in the very depths of winter, form the beginning of recorded time, celebrated light, and life, and the promise of renewal and new birth, just when they most needed cheering up.
And they would store food, and eat, and drink and be merry. And, in time, [I love all the "ands" - very biblical - GM] different cultures and creeds passed over the world, and changed and added to the stories about why we were celebrating, and said that perhaps we were celebrating because of a green man, or Mithras, or Sol, or that the Baby Jesus was being born, or because Santa Claus is flying over the world. And now, like all the millions of people who lived before us, we too use midwinter to see our family and exchange gifts, and feast and be merry and carry on traditions from our ancestors."
Sounds good enough for me.
Whatever your interpretation - merry Christmas.
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