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So I'm sitting at my computer this morning and all the sudden I hear this loud noise from outside and then I'm sitting at a blank terminal. in the dark. in silence. kinda cold.

I think a transformer blew, it was so not cool! I went to church. Went to wal-mart, and bought a battery controlled travel alarm clock, thinking it'd go under the "umbrella theory". You know, if you bring/buy and umbrella, it's less likely to rain? I figured if I bought a travel alarm, the power would be fixed by the time I got home. But it wasn't! So awful, seriously, the birds were shivering and I was worried about my food. I opened the fridge just long enough to grab the lettuce I had in there, it was still cold so I cut it up and ate it all with some dressing that was still cold too.

I lit a candle and put it under the bird aquarium, where their little house is. They warmed up. It was funny to think about cooking the birds though.

Then I was really bored but I heard some kids out playing so I went outside and talked to my neighbor Thad for a while. I used to think all my neighbors were 100% crazy, but Thad's not so bad. He even lent me his bike pump and I aired up my tires, and showed me his fly fishing lures he'd made, and I played with his dog outside. It was nice. Every so often we walked down to where the power guys were working on the lines and observed, and I joked about going up to them and being like, "Okay, I have an electronics degree! Just stand back and I will take care of everything!" I really wouldn't know how to take care of anything, I'd actually probably die trying, but it'd be funny, yes?

Then suddenly the power went back on and it was beautiful, I went to do laundry and Thad went... somewhere else. Oh, and I got back on the computer, obviously. Power was out for about six hours, I'm debating whether the ground beef in my fridge is still okay to eat. I'll cook it really good, will that do it?

Church was cool, I went to Aldersgate Methodist on 21st street. Sermon wasn't great, and nobody talked to me, but they had a handbell choir and I love handbells. Always have. I probably won't go back next week, so far I haven't been to any church more than once except Vineyard, which I really enjoy. But I feel some need to have a methodist church for some reason. Family influence? Fear of the unknown? God telling me methodists are always good? I can't figure it out.

Actually, if I could find a lutheran or presbyterian church that would be fine too. Just so it's not one of those crazy non-denominational cult gatherings, know what I mean? I'll do that on Saturday nights.

Speaking of the christian world, I was pissed as hell last night. I went to the mall to look for some clothes or something, and three stores, JC Penny included, had christmas decorations up. WTF? It's basically October! Then at the wal-mart this morning they made an announcement about gifts to get that hard-to-shop-for person in your life. Shut up! It's bad enough that the media and retail industry work together to destroy Christmas, but it's twice as painful when they start earlier and earlier every year. There are some really crazy right-wing Christians who celebrate Christmas in September, because we think that's when Jesus was actually born, and that way they can celebrate without having their religious holiday whored out. I'm thinking about it.

Did you know that we stole all our Christmas decorations from pagans? You probably did, but I learned this like two years ago, when my dorm floor wanted to decorate for solstice just to be different, and we did some research and learned that solstice decorations are made up of really hard-to-find items like greenery, holly, mistletoe and evergreen trees with big red bows. Early christians just thought it'd be funny to stick it to the pagans and mock their religion by copying the decorating scheme.

Christmas is so screwed up! No one likes it. Christians are mad that it's mocked and commercialized, non-christians are mad that they can't escape it. Eventually the only people who like it will be greedy, stupid, or too young to know any better. Am I right?

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
tiwonge
Nov. 3rd, 2002 11:54 am (UTC)
When are you going to a Catholic church? ;)

I'm with you on that Christmas thing. I think Christmas should start on Dec. 25, not end then. We (Catholics) celebrate the 12 days of Christmas--December 25 to January 6, Epiphany. In some cultures and countries, January 6 is called the little Christmas and they do their gift-giving then.
dreamingkat
Nov. 3rd, 2002 03:11 pm (UTC)
I thought it was the Russian Orthodox who did the 12 days of Christmas. (grew up Roman Catholic - mom being an Italian and all - and we had the holy days of obligation leading up to the Epiphany, but we didnt' actually celebrate the 12 days :)

....

Christianity adopts the best loved parts of the cultures it absorbs. My less cynical friends say that the symbols are cultural and have deeper meanings that speak to the soul.

I'm not so sure, I think that Christianity has a dampening affect on the imagination. Or maybe people can't be convinced to be Christians unless you let them keep thier traditional ways for a few generations. *shrugs*

But I agree, this whole Christams before Halloween thing has gone too far. There are more suicides over the 'Holiday' season. I'm tempted to believe it's because the holiday season has become so shallow that people crave the connection they believe they should be feeling. Not finding it they get depressed.

anyway, I have posted way long and will run away now...
tiwonge
Nov. 3rd, 2002 03:45 pm (UTC)
Well, while individual Catholics might not celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, the Church does. The time before Christmas is Advent. In the liturgical year, Christmas starts on Dec. 25 and continues for 12 days.

I think the Orthodox Christmas actually starts about a week or so after the Western Christmas. (In general, I think the Eastern liturgical year's about a week or two off of the Western Church. I believe it's because the Western church's liturgical year was adjusted for the Gregorian calendar, but the East never did that.)
poopsmoothie
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:14 am (UTC)
Our Christmas starts the same day as everyone else's and lasts for 12 days, actually.
tiwonge
Nov. 4th, 2002 09:58 am (UTC)
That's interesting. What denomination (I hate to use that word to refer to Eastern churches) is this?

In doing a bit of web research, I still can't find that. This site, in talking about Armenian church, says that they use the Julian calendar to celebrate Christ's birthday. (They also say that they think it should properly be celebrated on the day of the baptism and not the birth.) The site says that this day is Jan. 6 on our calendar.

However, it also says that for many Orthodox in the US, they celebrate Christmas on the Western date, and on Epiphany (Jan. 6), they will have a more traditional celebration of CHristmas.

In addition, the site says that Jan. 6 is the historical celebration of Christmas, and it wasn't until the 4th century that the Roman Church moved it to Dec. 25. (In addition, that site says that the Armeinian Church in the Holy Land celebrates Christmas an additional 12 days later.)

I know you're probably not an Armenian Orthodox Christian, but this confirms what I've always understood. The Eastern Churches celebrate Christmas on Jan. 6. (It also suggests, though, that Orthodox in the West might adopt the western date for Christmas. Perhaps that is the case?)
poopsmoothie
Nov. 3rd, 2002 11:58 am (UTC)
Actually, I thought He was born in the spring. I can't see that it makes any difference, though.
ali_highland
Nov. 3rd, 2002 12:06 pm (UTC)
At the risk of sounding like a geek (too late for that)

The reasons that the early christians adopted so many pagan festivals and practices, Orange for all hallows eve (Haloween and all saints day), Easter at the same time as the pagan spring festival of rebirth and christmas at the time of the mid winter festival,(complete with their decorations) was to make it easier for pagans to join the new faith.
tiwonge
Nov. 3rd, 2002 03:40 pm (UTC)
While you're probably correct with Christmas and ALl Saint's Day, you're not correct with Easter. Easter is celebrated when it is not because of the pagan festivals of Spring which occur around the same time, but rather, because that's when Passover is. And, if you recall, it was during Passover that Jesus was handed over, and after Passover that he was crucified and rose.

(Now, if you want to argue that Passover is dated in the Spring because it coincided with Spring festivals of pagan cultures around you, you're welcome to do that. But in that case, it was the Jews who adopted pagan practice and not Christians. That's not to say that we don't co-opt pagan symbols (eggs and chicks and bunnies?) in our cultural celebration of Easter, but Christianity didn't co-opt a pagan holiday to celebrate Easter. I think of all Christian holidays, it's probably the most pure and the most uniquely Christian. I also don't know how much evidence there might be that Passover is a Jewish borrowing of Spring rites.
ali_highland
Nov. 3rd, 2002 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re:
I stand corrected on that one
I should have known that, heck I did know that,
fyre
Nov. 3rd, 2002 05:57 pm (UTC)
ummm....
I beg to differ there.
Passover/Easter are in that period of time simply because of the Pagan festivals of spring. Noone truly knows when the original birth, death, ressurection, etc... of Christ was.

Here's how it breaks down (I'll start from the beginning of the calendar year (january 1st)) Format of Pagan holiday(s) - Christian holiday(s):

Imbolc (Feb 2nd) - Lady Day/Candlemas (Feb 2nd)

Spring Equinox (Ostara) (March 21st)/Beltaine (May 1st) - Passover, Good Friday, Easter (varies)

Beltaine (again) (May 1st) - May Day (not directly a Christian holiday, but this was the secular version of Beltaine and was supported by the Church)

Summer Solstice/Midsummer (June 21st) - ... You know I can't think of a Christian holiday right around this time. Not a major one at least. Technically though "Summer Solstice" is the secularized version of the Midsummer festival.

Lughnasadh (Aug 1st) - ... The only originally Pagan holiday I can find that does not have a corresponding (or close) one with the Church. This is the First Harvest festival.

Mabon (Autumn Equinox) (September 21st) - ... Again, like the Summer Solstice, the Equinox is the secularized observance of Mabon.

Samhain (October 31st) - Halloween, All Hallows Eve, All Saints Eve, All Saits Day (Nov 1st), etc..

Winter Solstice/Yule (Dec 21st or 22nd (depending on whom you ask) - Christmas (dec 25th). Popular theories beleive Christ was actually born between late september and mid october rather than in December. The observnace of his birth was placed at this time by the church to take the place of the Yule celebration, which was one of the darkest (not evil, but dark) of the Pagan year.


Yes, I agree most Christian holidays were placed where they were to take the place of the ancient Pagan holidays, etc...


To get back to what sparked all of this... Spacefem commented she was thining of celebrating Christmas in September rather than December, etc... I say why change times. Why worry about specific times anyway. If you're going to celebrate a holiday celebrate it becuase of the REASON behind it. Don't actually loose sight of why it is a holiday.

Alternatively (taking Christmas as example) if you want to celebrate the birth of Christ, celebrate it EVERY day, not just Dec 25th, or Mid-September, etc....

This concludes this long ranty-ish post.
(And no, I'm not "mad" at the church for trying to change our holidays.. they did what they had to do, what they felt was right)
tiwonge
Nov. 3rd, 2002 08:41 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about not knowing when Jesus was born, but we can know when Jesus died to a reasonable degree of certainty. I don't think it's a supportable claim that Easter is the date it is "simply because of pagan festivals."
You might claim that Passover is the date it is (and hence, Easter) because of pagan festivals, but I think that would be a hard claim to defend. (I'm not sure where you'd find the evidence of this--most Jewish history has been written after a time when they already celebrated Passover, so I'm not sure if you could find any evidence of pre-Passover Jewish celebrations. In addition, the rituals and symbols of Passover aren't closely connected with fertility or spring rites. I must admit I'm not too familiar with fertility and spring rites of pagan cultures surrounding Judea.)

The Christian Church of Europe in the Middle Ages had four quarterly feasts which corresponded with the solstice/equinox celebrations. They are Christmas on Dec. 25, (winter solstice) Annunciation on March 25 (vernal equinox), St. John's Day on June 24 (summer solstice) and Michaelmas (Feast of St. Michael the archangel) on Sept. 29 (autumnal equinox). Of those four, the only one which is still a major holiday is Christmas.

I don't know why I always end up talking about religion in spacefem's journal, but I do. Perhaps we could continue this conversation elsewhere, if you want? e-mail me or AIM me or something.
fyre
Nov. 4th, 2002 12:09 am (UTC)
Hmm... point taken.
I stand partially corrected.
And more informed than I was previously.

Lol, I don't know why religious debate springs forth in spacefem's Journal... but it does. hmm.. perhaps because Spacefem herself (to me at least) seems conductive to debate? As well as a person who would enjoy a good debate (Well, Spacefem?).

But yes, perhaps we should continue on another forum, as overloading her e-mail with comments is.. well, rather rude.

fyre@fyreplace.com if you wish.
tabloidscully
Nov. 4th, 2002 06:18 am (UTC)
I was with you until you mentioned that it can be contendable that Passover coincides with the Spring celebration of the Pagans. Passover came about to celebrate the time that Moses lead the Hebrews across the land of Egypt into the Promised Land. This is one of the few religious holidays (for any religion, really) that has trouble being argued because there are documents found from Egypt during Ramses rule that depicts the plagues and the evacuation of thousands of Jewish slaves.

Anyway, I guess you can pretend that it was created because of the Pagan solstice, but historically, the Jews weren't really interested in converting people (Pagans or not) and most of their holidays are backed up with firm documents.

Sorry, didn't mean to attack you there, but I thought I ought to make that point.
tiwonge
Nov. 4th, 2002 09:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I agree with you. I don't think that the Passover is related to fertility rites or spring festivals. I have seen people argue that, though, although I'm not sure how much credence I put into it. I was just trying to say that Easter is directly related to Passover, and was not moved to that date to correspond to some pagan Spring festival.

(Sorry, spacefem. I keep replying to comments in your journal so you get a copy of them too.)
bery
Nov. 3rd, 2002 12:26 pm (UTC)
Transformers: More than meets the eye!
(Look, don't touch.)

On the topic of Christmas; I'm not a christian, but I do sort-of celebrate christmas. Mostly because I've caved to the materialistic marketing machine. That said, I can't really think of something I _want_ for Christmas. :)
spacefem
Nov. 3rd, 2002 05:10 pm (UTC)
transformers: robots in disguise!
jope
Nov. 3rd, 2002 08:18 pm (UTC)
Ack! There were years for me when (Christmas==Transformers). Those were the days... =)
woodrunner
Nov. 3rd, 2002 01:25 pm (UTC)

Even being Catholic you don't escape anything when Christmas comes near. The day after Halloween, the Christmas decorations were up at the mall. The mall was also full of people doing their Christmas shopping. ARGH!

I'm seriously debating regressing my mentality to the pre-BC era and celebrate the soltices the way the druids did.


epi_lj
Nov. 3rd, 2002 02:11 pm (UTC)
"Early christians just thought it'd be funny to stick it to the pagans and mock their religion by copying the decorating scheme."

Not actually strictly true (or even unstrictly true). It's more that by adopting the traditions that people were used to, they hoped to gain acceptance and raise people's ire less.

"Christmas is so screwed up! No one likes it. (...) Am I right?"

Not as far as I can tell. It's actually many people's favourite holidays, and most people at least like it if it's not a favourite. It's just that the people who don't like it are loud about it.
fairyring
Nov. 3rd, 2002 02:27 pm (UTC)
I think the Christans adopted the same pagan decorations and had some of the same holidays to make the new religion more familar to the people they wanted to convert. Like you said about wanting to go to a the same kind of church that you are use to.
I love Christmas. It is more compusal than religious, but it is still good. I get in a good mood putting up a Christmas tree and hanging lights out side. And while it can be a burden if you have no idea what to get someone or you are broke, it is fun the get people gifts and receive gifts. Christmas songs are the best.
I love handbells too! That is one of the major things that I really miss about high school. If I ever join a church I will find one with a handbell choir.
tabloidscully
Nov. 3rd, 2002 06:33 pm (UTC)
I really hate Christmas sometimes. Not just because my best friend is Jewish, but I hate how we get two weeks off for Christmas while the BV district basically says 'Screw you' to Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and Ramadan. I was really excited when I heard that the Olathe District was allowing students to have of for Hanukkah (okay, so it doesn't include Kwanzaa and Ramadan, but it's a start, right?) but I was pissed that BV didn't follow suit. Oh well, maybe I can hope that they will in the next few years.

Either way, I hate the monopolization that they use to increase their sales. I would really enjoy a special on turbans or menorahs--I would really have respect for the media and retail stores then.
friedtoast
Nov. 3rd, 2002 07:15 pm (UTC)
Beef should be just fine. I traveled from WA to NY w/ venison in a cooler full o' ice that I changed every stop or two. It made it fine. I'm sure that a few hrs w/ the power off didn't do anything to your dead animal. Unless you set it out on the counter for 6 hrs :P

And the Christmas holiday sucks. I'm one o' the ppl that highly resent it. Especially seeing as how they're promoting it NOW. Bullcrap. Makes me sick.

Too bad we can't erase it and get it back to what it should be.
heanie
Nov. 3rd, 2002 10:06 pm (UTC)
X-Mas Rocks!
I love the Christmas holiday. I loved the feeling when I was a kid and how excited I'd get for that morning. There was a year or two when I grew up a little more that I felt a little more empty with out that excitement, but since we've started to go to Florida to visit my grandpa (no beach, just a bunch of old folks) I felt like I understand the "true meaning of Christmas". We don't do a whole lot of presents or anything, but we do have a big feast and everyone gets together and we chat. It's not cold and there aren't many pine trees, but you still know. It's a different kind of feeling and I've learned to like it a lot.
On a different note, I hate that they start playing christmas music the day after thanksgiving. When it starts, it seems to early. Then by the time it's christmas, you are so sick of hearing it, it doesn't seem to fit in then either. Guess I'll have to listen to my cds a little more then, huh?
belgand
Nov. 4th, 2002 02:55 am (UTC)
While not celebrating Christmas I am a large proponent of Mythmas. Essentially Mythmas is an atheistic Christmas-like celebration of pretty much all the aspects of Christmas that don't involve religion... or children, irritating songs, or Peanuts specials because I really hate Peanuts more than is sensible. Oh and in my family there never really was a family component to Christmas and I luckily never had to see relatives more than once every three or five years.

Actually, the main part of Mythmas is that people should buy me stuff and I get a month off of school. Dragging a dead and decaying chunk of nature into your domicile as a satisfying reminder of man's conquest and subjugation of nature is merely optional, but I don't think it's worth it myself.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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