Did y’all ever think about how WEIRD Christmas is?  I don’t mean what we are celebrating, of course–I know you know that.  Maybe what I really should be asking is did y’all ever think about how weird communal traditions are in general, or if weird isn’t the right word, how . . . PRIMITIVE.
I mean, look how we all go kind of crazy this time of year, and all the wacky (if you really think about it) things we do!  Chopping down trees and bringing them inside our houses and decorating them.  Festooning our homes with lights inside and out.  Singing certain songs.  Eating certain foods.  And more or less all of us, no matter how different we are, observing very similar customs.
And we all take it so seriously, too.  It’s not the kind of thing most of us would ever opt out of.  It’s like, I don’t know, we are afraid the sun won’t return and the days won’t grow longer again if we don’t do these things. 🙂
I’ve always said it was an awesomely strategic PR move on the part of the Church to co-opt the trappings of the primitive pagan festivals for use in religious celebrations.  You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, right?  And I wonder, if things hadn’t happened that way, if the Church had instead forbidden people to engage in the old ways at all, what would have risen up in their place.
Because there has to be something inside of us, don’t you think, something more than mere custom or habit, that NEEDS these kind of communal celebrations?  Surely they could not continue, could not mean so much, seem so crucial, if there wasn’t more to it than that?
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