I suppose I could start with a story that dates back to some years before WW1, even before the 20th Century.
When Queen Victoria married, England came to inherit a lot of nifty ideas from Albert's part of the world. Albert liked the idea of Christmas trees with lighted candles and presents underneath the branches and other decorations to make the tree festive. Queen Victoria thought such ideas to be jolly good fun and so the Christmas tree became part of English and then British culture. In the USA it was probably brought in by German and Austrian migrants. It is tough to say who brought in the gingerbread man. Maybe the Italians but you can't leave out the Germans and the Austrians for that one either.
One of Albert's favorite Christmas carols came from Austria and it was first sung, I believe, in German. It was later translated into English as Silent Night. It became very popular. On Christmas Day 1914 the fighting on the western front stopped. Germans were heard singling Silent Night in their own language. British soldiers joined in but in English. For one day the killing stopped. Football was played in no-man's-land. food and drink were exchanged between enemies. The next day of course the killing started again.
I think this is a nice true story about Christmas. My thoughts at any rate.
That's quite the story about the 1914 Christmas Day truce between British and German troops. I had to post a hub about it. According to this page about the Christmas truce in "1915 there was a similar Christmas truce between German and French troops, and during Easter 1916 a truce also existed on the Eastern Front."
There have been a few songs sung about the Christmas Day truce. Here's three of them.
It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold: "Peace on the earth, good will to men, from heaven's all-gracious King." The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.
2. Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled, and still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing, and ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.
3. And ye, beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing. O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!
4. For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.
Right on! Nobody should have to be ashamed to wish anybody Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Holidays or any form of happiness, cheer and good blessings. Anybody who is offended by someone wishing them happines and positive in their life need to just get over themselves. People need to realize that to take the right away from another, means taking the right away from themselves in this case, the right of free speech and the right to religion, not to mention the right to just wish others merriment and happiness.
Merry, happy, lovely Christmas, everyone. It's often the most depressing time of year for many people. Last year was a complete catastrophe for me. I'm not sure about this year. But I'm not wallowing, I'm considering my options. It will be simple this year, since I'm still paying off two weddings. (Brats. How dare they both in the same year! But it was a wonderful celebration!)
I wrote my Christmas hub about my piano, if anyone is interested.
Merry Christmas friends and people. I started my College path today and rocked an entrance exam. Good things this month and great things next year I love it. This is my first Christmas in five years I am so HAPPY . I even put up my tree the day before Thanksgiving and decorated the whole house with lights, don't tell my neighbors but I know they're jealous
Christmas is a great time for everyone, until the religionists step in to screw it up. It's especially funny to watch them squirm when they try to find evidence supporting their ownership of the date in the Bible.
Celebrate your faith, enjoy time with your loved ones, eat some good food, and take a break from working so damned hard.
I don't say "Happy Holidays" to be PC. I'm not at war with Christmas. I say it because I want to send good wishes to all people who celebrate any of the holidays this season. (Including the Pagans. And I think I saw a Pastafarian over there...)
So, Happy Holidays to all.
For my Christian friends: Merry Christmas to you.
A Joyous Chanukah Happy Kwanzaa And Festivus for the rest of us
I feel I have to say this. Has anyone considered that "Happy Holidays" might be offensive to people who don't wish to celebrate any holiday?
To be truly all-inclusive would be to exclude all holiday greetings.
If anything, I'm more offended by the idea that we are so delicate, a salutation appropriate for a holiday we don't celebrate would spell the end of our world.
Back to music. My favorite Christmas songs are Hark the Herald Angels, Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, Silent Night, O Holy Night, Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil (a beautiful Irish song), and for pure catchiness, El Veinticinco de Diciembre.
And while I normally don't like the 12 Days of Christmas due to it being too long and repetitive, I will gladly listen to "A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas." By far the single funniest version of that song EVER! (Especially vs. 8 and 12.)
Still, to be perfectly fair, December very often finds me singing Ma'oz Tsur as I go about my day. Yes, I know it's a Chanuka song and I'm not Jewish. It's still beautiful and I love what it means. Not a Christmas song, but it's among my favorites anyway.
I am going to do some Christmas hubs on music and the who PC thing. ya just KNOW how much I hate the overly-PC . . . enough that I pissed off enough people to have two dozen hubs flagged with several waiting over a week now to be republished now that I have censored them. Anyway, people need to relax and in some cases mind their own damn business and live and let live. See if you can see this hub: http://hubpages.com/hub/Christmas-Collection let's see if I did this correctly and/or if I am even still allowed to. . .
I know. It was flagged. that's why people really need to fan me. Otherwise, you miss the original hubs. See, I sometimes inadvertently cross the line when I choose my pictures and/or topics. never fear, hopefully by tomorrow or so that hub will be back albeit edited. That's how I went from an 89 to a score in the 50s! Thanks for your interest, at any rate.
LAst Christmas I went to see my friends drama in the Church It was awesome and felt some real magic within me.. It was an ovewwhelming experience for me.. This Christmas I dont know what will I be doing but will have a Blast! I am sure of that :0
Mark, I have a very high regard for a lot of people who don't happen to believe in Jesus. I only have an appropriately low opinion of your low behavior.
Before you go presuming to again tell Christians that Christmas is not about Christ, what's it about then? We don't call it Solstice. Even Christian cultures that retain the old names for their winter solstice celebrations don't celebrate Jul or Nollaig, for instance, as the solstice. It means something more to them than that.
Christ is the reason for Christmas. The rededication of the Temple is the reason for Chanuka (which comes a little early this year). Saying the solstice (a natural occurence) is the reason for these celebrations of people and events that don't really pertain to the solstice is rather like me telling you yucky November weather is the reason for Guy Fawkes Day.
The history is irrelevant. I know plenty about the winter solstice. I also know that I choose to celebrate that Jesus was- at some point most likely not even in December- born. And December 25th isn't even the solstice any more anyway, so the significance of the day is only what we choose to make of it. It's about Jesus to most people, and you really are in no position to tell them any differently.
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