Why this wasn’t the number one album this christmas past I’ll never know.
Tag Archive: christmas
Christmas may quickly be receeding into the past tense but the interesting christmas related posts keep coming!
Christian soldiers, marching as to war in the pitched battle for the meaning of Christmas, worry that Santa is a tool of the vast Satanic conspiracy. To be sure, the similarity of their names, identical but for one transposed letter, is provocative. Didn’t Mia Farrow use a Scrabble board, in Rosemary’s Baby, to expose her grandfatherly neighbor with the flyaway eyebrows for the warlock he was, shuffling the letters of his name to reveal his true identity? Could the Religious Wrong be right, just this once? Is Santa the Deceiver’s way of hijacking the Christ child’s birthday? Kriss Kringle is a corruption of the German dialectal Christkindl, “little Christ child.” Were Satan and Santa separated at birth?
The Advent season is a fun time. For many Christians, it is the happiest season of the year. The joy comes from the anticipation: “Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king.”I do not desire to dim the lights of Christmas, but it might be helpful to some to hear what the stories of Jesus birth are really about.There are four versions of the life of Jesus. We call them the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Only two of the versions say anything about the birth of Jesus.Mark, the first of the Gospels, begins the Jesus story with Jesus as an adult. John, the last Gospel written, likewise says nothing about the birth of Jesus. Matthew tells the birth story in only a few short paragraphs. Luke’s version of the beginnings of Jesus is four times as long as that of Matthew.Those two versions are very different. Luke plays with a much larger cast. His flair for the dramatic is pronounced. He includes an abundance of poetry and music with the support of angelic hosts.Reconciling the two versions has been tried by many, but never with success. They are two different stories. They each have their own distinctive version of the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus.
Sorry about the deadness. Man, I been fucking working mah fingers to the bone. Christmas shopping, tidying the house. I haven’t slept past 8:30am for the past three days. It’s not good for my laconic soul, it sure ain’t.
Seriously, I thought i’d have time to throw up some links. I’ve been collecting them for this exact purpose, but I been so worn out that I just couldn’t be arsed. Oh well, I’m gonna make up for it now.
So, these links. I haven’t had time to check them out but they look interesting.
For all those who are kicking back during the yuleness with a smidge of webness. These are for you.
Happy Xmas y’all
As christmas day is nearly upon us I thought i’d do a christmas related post. There may be more but don’t hold your breath.
There is a well established myth that the figure and iconography of father christmas/santa that we hold so dear (well, somebody holds it dear i’m sure) was dreamed up by the coca-cola corporation. I used to think this was true myself, the cynic that I am, but it turns out it’s simply not true.
The jolly old St. Nick that we know from countless images did not come from folklore, nor did he originate in the imaginations of Moore and Nast. He comes from the yearly advertisements of the Coca-Cola Company. He wears the corporate colors — the famous red and white — for a reason: he is working out of Atlanta, not out of the North Pole.
Origins: Among the pantheon of characters commonly associated with the Christmas season (both the religious holiday and the secular wintertime celebrations), the beloved persona of Santa Claus is somewhat distinctive in that his appearance is neither one that has been solidified through centuries of religious tradition nor one that sprang fully-formed from the imagination of a modern-day writer or artist. Santa Claus is instead a hybrid, a character descended from a religious figure (St. Nicholas) whose physical appearance and backstory were created and shaped by many different hands over the course of years until he finally coalesced into the now familiar (secular) character of a jolly, rotund, red-and-white garbed father figure who oversees a North Pole workshop manned by elves and travels in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer to deliver toys to children all around the world every Christmas Eve. (Among the many persons who had a hand in creating the modern Santa Claus figure, some of the most influential were writers
Washington Irving and Clement Clarke Moore, historian John Pintard, and illustrator Thomas Nast.)
However, we as human beings prefer definitive answers: We want details about time, place, and source and tend to eschew ambiguous, indefinite, open-ended explanations. We don’t find satisfying the notion that Santa Claus is an evolutionary figure with no single, identifiable point of origin, so we instead have created and clung to a more satisfying, pat explanation: The modern appearance of Santa Claus was a commercial creation of the Coca-Cola company, who cannily promoted a version of Santa garbed in their red-and-white corporate colors.
It is true that, since Santa Claus is an evolutionary figure, he did not suddenly appear fully-formed one day and immediately supplant every other similar character traditionally associated with Christmas — there was a period of overlap during which the modern Santa Claus character coexisted with other Christmas figures and other versions of himself, while his (now standard) appearance and persona jelled and his character grew in popularity to become the dominant (secular) Christmas figure in the western world. And it is true at the beginning of the 1930s, as the burgeoning Coca-Cola company was looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter (then a slow time of year for the soft drink market), they turned to a talented commercial illustrator named Haddon Sundblom, who created a series of memorable drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca-Cola, such as the following:
However, the modern version of Santa Claus was not created by Coca-Cola; Sundblom’s illustrations were based upon what had already become the standard image of Santa, as noted in a New York Times article published in 1927, four years before the appearance of Sundblom’s first Santa-based Coca-Cola ad:
A standardized Santa Claus appears to New York children. Height, weight, stature are almost exactly standardized, as are the red garments, the hood and the white whiskers. The pack full of toys, ruddy cheeks and nose, bushy eyebrows and a jolly, paunchy effect are also inevitable parts of the requisite make-up.
Illustrations of lavishly bearded Santas (and his predecessors), showing figures clothed in red suits (and hats) with white fur trimming, held together with broad black belts, were also common long before Coca-Cola’s first Santa Claus advertisement appeared, as evidenced by these examples from 1906, 1908, and 1925, respectively:
All this isn’t to say that Coca-Cola didn’t have anything to do with cementing the modern image of Santa Claus in the public consciousness. Coke’s annual advertisements featuring Sundblom-drawn Santas holding bottles of Coca-Cola, drinking Coca-Cola, receiving Coca-Cola as gifts, and enjoying Coca-Cola became a perennial Christmastime feature which helped spur Coca-Cola sales throughout the winter (and produced the bonus effect of appealing quite strongly to children, an important segment of the soft drink market). In an era before the advent of television, before color motion pictures became common, and before the widespread use of color in newspapers, Coca-Cola’s magazine advertisements, billboards, and point-of-sale store displays were for many Americans their primary exposure to the modern Santa Claus image.
In addition to this christmas myth there is another one that I grew up with, instilled into me by my Dad, that if it is too cold then it won’t snow. This is, as it goes, also bullshit.
The ingredients for snow are: (1) a temperature profile that allows snow to reach the surface, (2) saturated air, and (3) enough lifting of that saturated air to allow snow to develop aloft and fall to reach the surface. In a situation when it is said “it is too cold to snow” there is in reality not enough lifting of air that causes snow to reach the surface.
The phrase “it is too cold to snow today” probably originated as a misapplication of the relationship between temperature and the maximum amount of water vapor that can be in the air. When temperature decreases, the maximum capacity of water vapor that can be in the air decreases. Therefore, the colder it gets the less water vapor there will be in the air.
If the air cools to truly frigid Arctic temperatures such as -40 C and below then the moisture capacity of the air will be so low that likely not much snow can occur. Only at these extremely low temperatures is the phrase “it is too cold to snow” fairly valid.
As for the latter, well, that did allow me to highlight text so I’ve only quoted a few paragraphs. Original article here.