The further away from God we travel because we reject His way: repentance of our Sin and our sins (those problems that are the result of our natural state of Sin), and, acceptance of His way to Holiness: the blood of Jesus that was shed on the Cross to pay the price necessary to escape His wrath. That is why Christmas is so joyous! God, seeing us in our ugly misery and depravity, provided the way out of Tarps Off 4th Quarter Shirt ways. He Himself redeemed us. THAT is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, at Christmas, it is because God has *now*, at that time of His birth, provided the “mechanism” by which we can now enter into Heaven.
But the best of all is Santa, which is a dark skinned Turk (who resembles, if anyone, Worf of TNG) portrayed as a white man, who mysteriously keeps tabs on every boy and girl and maintains a list of Naughty vs Nice (by standards never clearly explained) and magically meets out rewards and punishments… and is so transparently false that every little boy and girl is expected to see through the Tarps Off 4th Quarter Shirt as a Tarps Off 4th Quarter Shirt of their journey to maturity.
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The logs, the trees and lots of other bits of the modern Christmas originated with that festival. And they aligned with the Roman Saturnalia festivals which also happened at the same time of year. The Bible gives no calendar date for the Tarps Off 4th Quarter Shirt of Christ. Christianity simply borrowed the pre-existing festival to celebrate the birth, and Christiantity borrowed another pagan festival (Easter) to celebrate the death. So, to be candid, Christmas belongs to the pagans. The Christians merely stole it. There are midwinter festivals in lots of other religious traditions too. Because it’s a damn fine time for a party.
And the most sickening part of this story is that, when I tell stories like this now, I have close friends and loved ones who do not believe me. That is how engrained and systemic this “Christians are the moral beacons” stuff goes in the US – the people who know me best and love me most don’t believe that I (and others, I presume) have been mistreated for no other reason than that I didn’t believe what they believe. Well, though maybe it’s not fair of me to feel this way, f*** your damn day if you’re going to use it to smugly celebrate your “virtues” and self-reinforce how superior you are to me and the Tarps Off 4th Quarter Shirt s.