Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy holidays

This was commissioned last year by the Dallas Morning News for their Christmas Day issue. The Flying Red Horse is the unofficial symbol of Dallas, mainly because it adorns the top of what once was the tallest building in the area, and its neon shape could be seen from miles away.
In some circles there is a lot of sensitivity about the use of the term "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" as a greeting but the fact is the association of holidays at this time of year originated before the birth of Christ. Winter Solstice has been celebrated since Man first realized the sun would return after the darkest and longest night of the year. The Romans celebrated the feast of Saturnalia and the early Christians attached their celebration of Jesus' birth to that festival in order to discretely observe their preferred event without being fed to lions more regularly than they already were.
Of course Hannukkah predates Jesus' birth by a century and a half, and Kwanzaa, created in 1966, is observed in the African American community in honor of family, community, and culture.
Anybody reading this probably knows all of this, and the point is all of the nonsense about a "media war on Christmas" and whether or not a decorated indoor tree (the concept of which dates back to the Druids) is called a "Christmas tree" or a "holiday tree" or any of the rest of the manufactured controversies and victimhoods we read and hear about are irrelevant to a time of year everyone can find something to appreciate and celebrate. So do it, already.

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