‘Twas the night before Christmas…..The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, / In hopes St. Nicholas soon would be there…..
Opening lines from ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. Also known as A Visit From St. Nicholas.
First published in 1823. Its authorship disputed.
The original hand written copy recently sold for $280,000.
The Christmas presented in the poem not the way Christmas was at the time of its publication. A differently practiced holiday at the time.
The Christmas of today is based on the birth of Christ and paganism. Yes, paganism.
Back when, the Papacy was not as religious and honest as today. Popes married, waged wars, etc. A political force as well as a purportedly religious one.
The Catholic Church needed more members. The opposition was beginning to beat them. The Church openly solicited the pagan population to join them.
The pagans were just that. Pagans. A rowdy bunch. Prone to orgies and drinking.
The pagans were interested in preserving their holidays. Especially, winter solstice. A carnival type event lasting several weeks. Dancing, alcohol and sex. Germans, Anglo-Saxons, and Norsemen part of the pagan group.
The Pope at the time won them over. He said in effect we will blend our Christmas with your winter solstice and have one holiday. The blending promise also included Easter.
And so it happened. For political reasons, the two forces joined.
Pissed off big time many Catholics and non-Catholics who referred to the amalgamation as an apostasy. An abandonment/renunciation of a religious or political belief.
The Protestants went on a killing spree. Where ever a Catholic or pagan was found, the Catholic/pagan was killed.
Certain portions of the Catholic Church left and formed new religions as a result thereof.
The pagans brought with them into the new Christmas the word yule. Meaning nothing more than a winter festival.
The Christmas tree. What we erect in our living rooms today were then the great tall trees of the German forests. Decorated.
No Santa Claus, sleigh, reindeer or Christmas Eve yet. The celebration continued basically as a pagan one.
Until recent times, Catholics were generally disliked worldwide by Protestants. Adding to the fire, Protestants were upset to think Christmas Day had become pagan.
Now comes 1823 and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. The Christmas we practice today is derived from the poem and several other writings of the time.
‘Twas The Night refers to the night before Christmas as opposed to Christmas day. The author wrote it this way so not to offend Protestants. Christmas day including pagan activities would not be to the liking of Protestants.
‘Twas the Night also contributed to Christmas practices not in existence before. Like Santa Claus. No Santa Claus at the pagan parties.
‘Twas the Night introduced gift giving. Santa Claus was scripted after a local Dutch handyman. First time for a sleigh and reindeer.
To appreciate the Protestant/Catholic conflict re Christmas, Boston banned the practice of Christmas for 22 years from 1669-1691.
Yesterday began with a visit to Tammy. Manicure time. The place was packed. Standing room only. I had no problem. Always make an appointment.
Tammy says it is women getting ready for Christmas. Last minute!
Then to La Concha for a quick bite. After which Larry Smith’s annual Christmas concert.
As with Tammy ‘s, the place was packed. The most people I have ever seen in recent years at a Larry Smith Christmas event.
Larry out did himself this year. His best show ever!
Unfortunately, I did not see the second half. I felt strange. Decided to get home. Waited till intermission. Chatted a few minutes on the sidewalk with Don, Tom, Pati, and Peter. Then to my car and home.
The second half of the show featured a Key West police officer who appears to have written the only song about Irma. He was going to sing it. Since I wrote the only book about Irma, I thought it would be especially interesting. Sadly, I missed his performance.
For whatever reason, Florida is slow to act/react when an invasive species moves in. First, it was the pythons. Now more than one million in number. Impossible to eradicate. Contain the only alternative. Difficult to accomplish.
Iguanas have joined the pythons. All over Florida. Their number indeterminable. Probably in excess of one million. The State wants to eradicate or contain. As with the pythons, good luck with eradication. Iguanas are her to stay!
This morning’s Key West Citizen explained that position in a cartoon on its editorial page. Two iguanas reading a newspaper and saying they want to get rid of us. Move to the last of the four part cartoon. The two iguanas laughing.
Enjoy your day!