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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Julius I’

Merry Christmas & Dies Natalis Invicti Solis

December 22, 2010 1 comment


Just putting it out there. That’s right- I work for NPR and I love Christmas. I hate saying “Happy Holidays.” I even say Merry Christmas to my Jewish friends and not a one of them looks at me askance. They seem to understand the spirit in which it is intended and they cut me some slack.

Of course, no one actually knows what day Christ was born. Christmas was the Catholic Church’s successful attempt around 350, A.D. to win over pagans who seemed to be having a hell of a good time celebrating the coming of the Winter solstice. The Pope at the time, Julius I, a clever fellow with a brilliant sense of marketing, decided to blend religion with singing and present-exchanging and general happy frolicking and it all worked out quite well for both the soon-to-be converted pagans and for the church.

For me, Christmas is about memories and it’s about children. It’s Bing Crosby and window displays on 5th Avenue. It’s the hope for snow, the smell of evergreen and when I was a kid, a new GI Joe or a shiny-red toy fire truck with real, working, flashing red lights.

It’s Messiah sing-alongs, Jimmy Stewart, the occasional midnight mass, butter cookies, milk and Santa Claus. And I mean real butter cookies. Emphasis on butter.

Anyway, here it is—in your face—proud as can be—and I don’t even need Fox News to convince me:

Merrrrrrry Christmas everybody!!!!!!

And for you remaining unconverted heathens out there: Happy Dies Natalis Invicti Solis (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun).