Christmas? Humbug!

| Dec 25, 2017

Well, here it is. And so this is Christmas. Hanukkah has passed for the year, and, by strange cosmic timing, this column is being published on Christmas day. Or so I was told. Your mileage may vary.

As those crazy enough to follow my writing know, I am no fan of Christmas. In fact I really hate it. It’s a commercial greed fest which has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. The Trumpanzees say “Keep Christ in Christmas.” I’d like to see them keep Christ in Christianity. That would be a massive change.

As many of you know, the holiday we celebrate has its basis in at least two other pagan holidays. The first was “Yule.” Yule was a Norse holiday, celebrated on the Winter solstice (December 21) through January. Fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which would be set on fire, and families would feast until the log finished burning, which could take up to Twelve Days. Twelve Days of… Yule. At that time of year, most of the cattle was slaughtered so they didn’t have to be fed over the nasty winter, so there was plenty of meat, and the beer and wine from the summer was ready as well. Party time!

Christmas Sophie 2013

Christmas Sophie 2013

The other holiday was the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Saturn was the Roman god of Agriculture. Saturnalia started on the solstice (December 21) and continued a whole month. During that time, Roman social order was reversed: slaves became the Masters, and Peasants ruled the city. Can you imagine today’s rich folks and ruling class allowing that? Never happen — they know how badly they treat everyone else, and paybacks are a bitch. Right Robespierre?

The Roman 1%ers also celebrated the birthday of Mithra, a sun god, on December 25th. It was believed that Mithra, a perpetual infant, was born from a rock. Seriously. And this was a VERY sacred day. This festival traces further back in time to at least 3,500 years ago, to an Indo-Persian religion known as Mithraism. Mithra was born of a virgin in a cave. He had 12 satellites (disciples) and his holy days were the Winter solstice and Vernal Equinox (Christmas and Easter.) He was identified as “the Lamb.”

Any of this sound familiar?

There are MANY more ties between this religion (which made it to Rome FAR earlier) and Christianity. Look them up if you want.

Also around the solstice was Juvenalia, honoring the children of Rome.

In any case, the hard core right wing Puritans of England, led by Oliver Cromwell, outlawed the celebration of Christmas as “decadent.” After Cromwell died of Septicemia in 1658, and his son was deposed, Charles II reinstated Christmas. (In 1661, Oliver Cromwell was convicted of treason and executed post-mortem, and his head displayed on a pike over Westminster Hall until 1685, when the pike was blown over in a storm. The head suffered many other indignities over the centuries until it came in to the possession of Sydney Sussex College (his alma mater.)

Cromwell's Head

Cromwell Hated Christmas Too

The puritans in America, not to be outdone, were even more Anti-Christmas. Remember, these people were so right wing that they were thrown out of every civilized country of Europe. (Today’s GOP would call them liberals as they hadn’t accepted Trump as their Lord and Savior.) Anyone celebrating Christmas was fined five shillings — a large amount for the time.

The idea was brought back to America by author Washington Irving (of Headless Horseman fame) in The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent in 1819. It wasn’t popularized in its present form until after Dickens published A Christmas Carol in December 1843. It was wildly popular in Victorian England, and eventually spread to the U.S. Christmas was eventually declared a U.S. holiday in 1870.

So what’s my problem with Christmas? Why don’t I enjoy Santa Claus and “Ho Ho Ho” and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls?”

Simple. Christmas in my world has meant loneliness and Pain. My dad always worked on Christmas, so was never around, which in a way was a blessing. My parents did their best to provide my brother and I gifts on Christmas, but, as I was away from the few friends I had during that time, I felt more isolated than usual.

After all, I had a shameful Secret that was buried deep inside me.

This time of year, many of my transgender sisters and brothers are alone — cast out by their family and friends, and too poor to celebrate the holiday. The church has turned its back on us, again, as has the U.S. government.

Christmas as its celebrated today is a Lie — a money making lie that hurts those who can’t afford it.

Still, there is the so-called “Christmas spirit.” I always thought that was total bullshit until my dearest Sister Lisa Empanada posted a piece on Facialbook during Christmas 2012.

I think about Lisa Empanada all the time. If anyone asks me “can you define who was?” I point to this piece.

I’ll end this piece with her words, unedited. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy it. Give a thought to those who can’t.

Be well.

………………………………..
Dear Santa, This Year Can You Take Some Stuff Away?

Dear Jolly Santa,

I don’t know if I’ve been naughty or nice. I think I have been average and sometimes that feels like winning. I want lots of stuff Santa. I want a new face. I’d like an ‘innie’ but I hear that is not in your job description. I want you to magically make Micheal Khors and Steve Madden to start selling all the cutest heels in wide wide widths or, if its easier, you could just give me smaller feet…I’m cool with that too.

Some people don’t believe in you, I guess I could be considered one of them. They say you are an essence, a force, the embodiment (sans body) of compassion, hope and joy. You are as real and as powerful as our willingness to accept and strive for the things you represent. I wanna believe in those things Santa, I really do.

I’m not a selfish girl, (at least I hope I’m not) although I really want my hair to flow down my back and my nails to grow long and hard….also I want the latest designer purse. Chanel would be nice.

But I need you in a more profound way this year Santa, so many of us do. I need to believe in the things you stand for…the hope, the joy, the selflessness without the selfishness. I need to understand that magic is a natural phenomenon that results from a willingness to believe, a willingness to embrace happiness in spite of how life challenges us to the contrary. If you can believe it, you can be it. And many of my friends have blossomed into beautiful woman, not just because they always were but mostly because they believed they could be and in believing they overcame their fear.
Santa, I don’t want any gifts this year. The long hair and nails can wait. The ‘innie’ will not be tightly packaged in a pretty VS bow, the materialistic trappings have no real value. Santa please keep the presents. Can I ask one thing of you for myself and for my friends…

Can you take some stuff away from us? We have too much of somethings that no one should have so much of. Could you please stop by on Christmas and take away the doubt. Can you remove the tremendous pain and grief from our shoulders…so many of us are buckling under the weight. Could you take away the nightmares that haunt our waking hours. Can you take away the feeling of loneliness? Can you take away the skepticism that we can ever manage to believe in the magic that moves us?

Santa can you take away our fears. We have too many of them already. If you can, please do. Because so many of us are trapped by fear and doubt, by regret and a lack of confidence.

If you could just take this stuff away … or find a way to help us to, I know we can be stronger and soar higher. I know we can be the Angels on Earth we are destined to be.

Without fear we are capable.

Research Sources:
http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas
http://www.truthbeknown.com/mithra.htm
http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Oliver-Cromwell/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol

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Category: Body & Soul, History

Sophie Lynne

About Sophie Lynne: http://sophielynne1.blogspot.com/ : http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/storywall/transgender-today/stories/sophie-lynne : http://articles.philly.com/2016-06-29/news/74075409_1_transgender-students-gender-identity-transgender-people

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