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Merry Christmas to Persecution.org’s Readers and Donors.
Here is a fun article poking fun at the craziness of the our American legal connundrum of how to deal with Christmas in a secular society.


Happy Nonpartisan December Celebration

With all the political correctness surrounding the season this year, the blanket term “Happy Holidays” is beginning to look like the only safe greeting. We can only speculate how much longer it will be until the concept of holidays are foregone entirely and replaced by a winter fete known as “The Nonpartisan December Celebration.”
For those of you who may be confused conceptually about the origin and nature of some of this season’s festivities, PostStar.com and PostStar.net has compiled the following glossary of winter holidays as a reference guide for you and yours.
Holiday : In order to properly explain why the month of December is chock full of them, let’s first examine the word itself.
The term “holiday” derives from the fusing of the words “holy” and “day” and comes from the Old English (or Olde English, if you prefer) “halig dæg.” Traditionally, holidays were only celebrated as religious or cultural observances. In modern North American culture, the declaration of a holiday has been revised to include any day of historical, political, or mass social interest. (In other words, any day the post office is closed).
Christmas: A Christian holiday celebrated on Dec. 25 to mark the accepted date of birth of the religion’s central figure, Jesus Christ. (BONUS FACT: Christ is not actually a name but a title that comes from the Greek word for “anointed”). According to Christian belief, Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem on the west bank of what is now a Palestinian city. His parents, Mary and Joseph, had traveled there to register for the Roman Census.
Secularly, Christmas is celebrated as the holiday when — folklore dictates — Father Christmas (a.k.a. Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas) bestows gifts on well-behaved children. Santa’s origin is a bit muddy; several variations exist citing varied European nations and even Turkey . The evolution of Santa lore has been adapted to include a sleigh and eight flying reindeer as a means of transportation.
(ANOTHER BONUS FACT: The term Xmas is not merely an abbreviation invented to save press ink. Xmas derives from Greek wherein the Greek “X” means “chi” and is generally accepted as a reference to Christ).
Chanukkah (or Hanukkah, as adopted by The Associated Press): The Jewish “Festival of Lights.” Chanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which generally falls between late November and early December. According to the legend behind the holiday, in 165 B.C. Hellenist Syrians ransacked a Jewish Temple and desecrated all the blessed lamp oil — save one flask. The flask of oil was only enough to light the lamp for a single day but miraculously lasted 8 days, long enough for more oil to be prepared and blessed.
Modern Jews commemorate Chanukkah with the lighting of a Menorah, a nine-candle candelabra, with one candle to represent each day of the holiday. The middle candle is used to light the others and is referred to as a “Shamash” from the Hebrew for “caretaker” or “aide.”
Jews traditionally exchange gifts on Chanukkah in celebration of what they consider one of Judiaism’s greatest miracles.
Kwanzaa: An African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated between December 26 and the first of January. Kwanzaa originates from the Swahili “matunda ya kwanza,” or “first fruits.” It is said to coincide with the African harvest. Dr. Maulana Karenga of Los Angeles is credited for founding the holiday in 1994.
Kwanzaa is celebrated to honor the seven Nguzo Saba, or “Principles of Blackness,” and commemorated through Afro-centric art, food, celebration, and the lighting of red and green candles.
Winter Solstice: The time in the earth’s orbit where the northern hemisphere is farthest away from the sun, therefore presenting the least daylight in a single 24-hour period. In the northern hemisphere this occurs between December 21 and 22, wherein the opposite is true for the southern hemisphere, making it the summer solstice for nations below the equator.
The Germanic festival of Yule is held during the winter solstice. Yule is a Pagan holiday that represents the passing of the Holly King, who is symbolic of the losing of sunlight, and the coming of the Oak King, who symbolizes the coming year. The Oak King is said to be the son of the Holly King.
We at PostStar.net hope that clears up some of the confusion and wish you a Merr … Happ … Festiv …., aw heck, have a nice December.
Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/
http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/hanukkah/

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