I wonder how many days in the new year am I going to go without mentioning the name of a certain ex-president of the United States. Today is the eleventh day of Christmas, and the fourth day of 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣2️⃣.
But my blog is more than just criticizing a former president or ringing the alarms for the ten alarm fire that democracy is enduring. My blog is personal as well. It is also a little bit “autobiographical,” as I write about the choices that I have made in my life, and the choices I did not make as well.
I also write about larger issues such as the values that we have in an aging democracy, and the institutions of religion, education, capitalism, and the empire that looms large, omnipotently, assertively around our precious globe.
It’s hard to believe that we are still in the “Christmas Season.” But we still have two more days before we arrive at “The Festival of the Kings.”
As we wind down Christmas, my question continues to be, is Christmas more of a religious or state holiday, or is it more of an opportunity for retailers and airlines to cash in and realize a profit for the year.
It is easy to become bluntly cynical and say that Christmas is soley for the benefit of merchants to insure businesses realize a profit for the calander year. The day after Thanksgiving is called “Black Friday,” as it is designed to spur holiday shopping “to get businesses into the black” on their books. Having one month of holiday shopping has historically produced mixed economic results.
What direction shall I take my blog in 2022❓ Well, it’s pretty much going to go where I started, in 2021, commenting about the “news of the day,” and then commenting about my “personal journey” as well. The news does change from day to day, there are “patterns.” And there are running themes” in my personal life as well.
Some of the “patterns” emerging in the news include the constant and persistent reminders of of a changing climate is affecting the lifes of people all around the globe, and the continual danger to our democracy based on the fact that our economy is changing, and not all who attempt to participate in this economy are benefiting materially or financially. This failure of the capitalist economy brings rise to dangerous authoritarian fascist demagogues.
Well, I want to be optimistic, looking at the “glass half full,” but it is hard. On the other hand, we as a society, as a culture, as a group of humans have been through times a lot tougher, a lot more at risk than we are experiencing today. It is just appears that we are on the cusp of something frightening. Democracy is truly at risk. We have been seeing and hearing the warning signs for over three years. This is becuase we had a president of the world’s standard bearer for democracy who has been a wanna be dictator. He has the “only I can fix it” mentality. He has repeatedly stated that the elections have been rigged with no evidence of such “rigging.” This “democracy” can do better.
The year 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣ has proven to be a challenging year, as the Omicron variant has taken hold of the United States. However, reports are that the variant’s symptoms are not as severe or lethal as the Delta variant of COVID-19.
This past year, the loser of the election for presidency of the United States has refused to concede the election, a measure that has is unprecedented in American political history. The loser has gone to the US courts, with no success, over sixty times to attempt to overturn the results of the election.
The main challenges that President Biden has encountered include inflation, a labor shortage, supply chain difficulties, and the COVID-19 pandemic that shows no signs of waning or departing the American shores.
Hoping that 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣2️⃣ will be better.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas in The Year of Our Lord 2021, at the tender age of 8️⃣2️⃣ the Honorable United States Senator Harry Mason Reid Jr. from “The Silver State” of Nevada passed away to meet The Lord.
From 1987 until 2017 Harry Reid served as a United States Senator from Nevada, and was the Senate majority leader from 2005 until 2017.
During the past three years we have lost a host of brillant leaders from a bygone era. Leaders who could work together and get legislation through during challenging times. There was something about being a member of the United States Senate, that august body, that made it possible to make the government work, no matter what letter the person had beside his or her name.
There is a symbolism beyond the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” novelty song that is know so well among the raft of holiday tunes that are played each year during the month of December on the radio. The “Five Days of Christmas” in The Christian Tradition is the “First Five Books of the Old Testament,” also known as “The Pentateuch.”
“Penta” comes from the Greek meaning “five.” Pentagon, pentathlon, and Pentecost all derive from this word meaning “five.”
The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has one of the first music videos of the modern era called “On the Twelth Day,” filmed in 1955. It is a classic twenty minute short, filmed in Technicolor, which shows in all brilliance the gifts that a suitor brings to his True Love.
I wrote about the traditions that Christianity borrowed, noting that just as nature has four “seasons,” there are “seasons” in the Christian calendar.
Winter seems to be the “bleakest” season on the calendar in the Northern Hemisphere. During the winter the sun only shines for nine and a half hours, while the sun shines in the summer in the Northern Hemisphere for over fifteen hours. Winter is the coldest season, with temperatures falling below freezing during many days, even when the sun is shining. Climate change and global warming are doing their part to mitigate the extreme low winter temperatures.
People can find joy in the bleakest of times. Christmas festivities and gift giving are part of this tradition to get through the bleak cold winter months.
Christianity borrows from so many other traditions, to be sure. One of the “traditions,” that Christianity borrows from is nature itself. As nature, give us “seasons” of “four seasons” of summer, autumn, winter, and spring,” The Christian tradition is replete with various seasons as well such as “Lent,” “Pentecost,” “Ordinary Time,” “Easter,” and of course, “Christmas” which the Christian calendar is currently in right now.
While nature’s four seasons are fixed to the sun’s aperture relative to the Earth’s hemispheres and tropics, Christianity’s seasons correspond to the phases of the moon in the spring, and are fixed to the Gregorian calander for fall and winter feasts and preparatory days.
Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are always “fixed dates,” while Lent, Easter, and Pentecost are the “movable feasts.”
[Unless there is compelling breaking news to “pre-empt” my plan, I will post my reflections on Christmas every day of the Christmas Tide, which is approximately a fortnite.]
Christmas seems to be the most popular holiday in the United States, and possibly around the world. While “Christianity” certainly has capitalized on this winter celebration, other institutions, such as the the economic forces of mercantilism and capitalism have their “hands in the golden Christmas pot.”
During this “Yuletide Fortnite” I will explore the how these institutions capitalize on Christmas, and the orgins of the Christmas tale, from the birth of Jesus, to the trimming of the Christmas Tree, to the unabashed frenzy of buying and giving gifts, and holiday parties, replete with eating, drinking and singing.