Blog 1761 – 07.20.2020
Christmas in July? And why not, as the Elvis song says so well, Why can’t every day be like Christmas? Some of the most classic Christmas movies repeat in these warmer months. I saw Turner Classic Movies was running Meet Me In Saint Louis recently in which Judy Garland sings the Christmas classic, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
I inherited my love for all things Christmas from my mother who loved and looked forward to Christmas when I was a boy. Christmas in our house was never a religious holiday but a fun day, one my younger brother and I looked forward to, knowing mom would make sure it was worth the wait.
When we were growing up, we were poor and our stay at home mom was a house wife/ homemaker except for a month or so before Christmas when she for several of those years took for a few weeks a job at a dime store to make money for Christmas for us.
This was just about the time dad’s construction work played out and he was laid off for the winter. Only the top ten seniority Teamster concrete truck drivers at his place of employment stayed working through the winter months. My brother and I were teenagers before dad ever rose to the top ten in seniority.
Christians like to say that many of us have commercialized Christmas and made it all about Santa and gift giving and getting and that we seem to have forgotten that it is the baby Jesus’s birthday. Fact is Jesus was most likely born in the spring and a Pagan holiday to celebrate the birthday of the Sun on December 25th was taken over by the Christian church to honor the one they believed to be God’s only begotten son. It is an incredible story even for children, a birthday with no birthday cake, only three gifts and they by all accounts delivered late, and a donkey but not for pin the tail. And that is not even taking into account the highly unlikely if not completely mythical virgin birth thing.
Today’s Sesame Street book is for little children with no religious overtones. I have often found it amusing that many of the really great Christmas songs are not about Jesus birthday but a longer celebrated birthday party. Even Judy’s song mentioned above has the line “if the fates allow” to show us it speaks to the older celebration, Oh Christmas Tree, Chestnuts Roasting On And Open Fire, and so many others speak to a far older tradition about celebrating the Sun and the beginning of the season when it’s influence is less felt. We feel it so strongly in summer but even in winter still draw warmth, light, and life from it.
Science, not religion, tells us how, but for earth being in the sweet spot, third from the sun, life as we know it could never have thrived or even survived on this planet and none of the other seven planets (sorry Pluto.) Earth is as Goldilocks would say, Not too far, and not too near but just the right distance from the Sun. Though Christian’s may refer to the first day of the week as The Lord’s Day most of us still call it Sunday.
My mama called me Sunny and still one of my favorite songs is “You Are My Sunshine.” Merry Christmas in July, Kidros.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Sunshine On My Shoulders