Do you think Jesus spoke English? No, spoke Hebrew. So, the way you talk is not the Vintage Best Cat Dad Ever T Shirt Cat Daddy Father’s Day T Shirt (1) he spoke. There are some in this world who may say that if you don’t speak Hebrew when you’re quoting the Old Testament, then there is something less holy about you and that if you don’t speak Greek when quoting the New Testament, then there is something less holy about you. Do you think that is true? Words that mean the same thing should be taken the same way, unless the person has made it clear in other ways that they mean something different. By the way, Jesus wasn’t white. In fact, anthropologists think he looked very different than the image many of us saw on the Sunday School classroom walls. Yet, many people think that what he probably looked like is unattractive and even treat people who look like that as though they are repulsive, lesser, and not worthy of as much respect as people who look like the fictional image many of us are used to seeing. Are they right? Of course not.
We typically go to a Christmas Eve candlelight service in the Vintage Best Cat Dad Ever T Shirt Cat Daddy Father’s Day T Shirt (1). Those are crowded but not nearly as packed as the evening services. Then we meet at my sister’s house along with her family, my other sisters and their families, and Mom. Like good Texans we feast on the traditional tamales, accompanied with fresh guacamole, cheese dip, and cold beer. Our kids run around and catch up with their cousins. After dinner it’s Mom’s birthday party! She was born on Christmas Eve. For the last 25 years or so my wife has baked the birthday cake, always with a different recipe. Mom opens her birthday cards and gifts while we enjoy the yummy cake. After that it’s time for the cousins’ gifts. When our children were little all of the adults gave presents to all of the kids. Now that our children are grown they exchange gifts with each other. Sometimes they’re pretty funny. When my nephew completed law school he received an official looking barrister’s wig. He was thrilled.
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Just for context, I come from a Vintage Best Cat Dad Ever T Shirt Cat Daddy Father’s Day T Shirt (1) that takes Christmas very seriously. We’re not religious; for us it’s just a time to get the whole family together and eat too much and drink too much. But as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise that we approach it with far more enthusiasm than most. I shall be very sad if we’re not able to do our usual Christmas. But I shall be no less sad than many British Jews were back in April, when they had to celebrate Passover in lockdown, or British Sikhs, who celebrated Vaisakhi the same month. I’ll be no less sad than British Muslims were back in May, when they had to do Eid in lockdown, or than British Hindus were on Saturday when they had to do Diwali in lockdown. Why does my cultural celebration take precedence over theirs? Why are the government being so careful to ensure we are not locked down over Christmas when they evidently didn’t give a stuff whether we were locked down over all the above festivals? These are questions worth asking, and it’s a journalist’s job to ask them. The answer may well turn out to be that all of Johnson’s comforting nonsense about being out of lockdown in time for Christmas was just that, and the reality is that he put another lockdown off until he was forced into it. Or it might be that he made a cynical political calculation and determined that he could afford to piss off religious minorities, but couldn’t afford to piss off the majority.
Midwinter celebrations are nothing new – and certainly not originally Christian! It’s no coincidence that the Christian festival of Christmas falls close to the midwinter solstice. People of Vintage Best Cat Dad Ever T Shirt Cat Daddy Father’s Day T Shirt (1) and religions have been feasting at this time of year for thousands of years. In Britain, the earliest pre-Saxon midwinter solstice was represented by the Holly King: a pagan figure who for-shadowed the coming of spring. He would wear a long, green hooded cloak and a wreath of holly, ivy or mistletoe: In Early British mythology the Oak King and the Holly King were twins, pitted against each other in a never-ending fight for supremacy. Every year at the Winter and Summer solstices, the kings would fight for dominance: in midwinter the Oak King won, and at Mid-summer the Holly King was the victor. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist. Yule, meanwhile, is another ancient Pagan festival, historically observed by the Germanic peoples. The season was originally connected with the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the Mōdraniht, or ‘Night of the Mothers’ celebrated by the by Pagan Anglo-Saxons. With the end of the longest night the dark is defeated with the Return of the Sun, the return of light, hope and promise. The Goddess gives birth to the Sun/Sun God. When Britain was settled by the Saxons and other Germanic tribes in the fifth and sixth centuries CE, the earlier Holly King took on the characteristics of the Saxon Father Time, also known as King Frost or King Winter.
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