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Misplaced Obsessions: Understanding Why Christmas Is On December 25th. — 1 Comment

  1. Obsessively focusing on solving the wrong problem seems to be basic to the human condition. I think we are also fond of having things to argue about. If we don’t have anything of actual substance to argue about, or if our substantive disagreements are too scary, we’ll invent inconsequential things we can fight over instead. If we don’t have anything to fight about, we are reduced to dreadfully boring pastimes like appreciating each other and exploring our genuine emotional and spiritual experiences together in an authentic way. The very thought of discussing such things together over Christmas dinner might put the average family member right off their plum pudding! Before you know it, we’d be finding common ground on political issues and tribalism as we know it might start to break down. Perish the thought. For my own part, I believe that the compulsion to seek light in the time of darkness is basic, human, and universal — and that alone is sufficient to explain all of the light-filled holiday celebrations that occur in December (most of which were invented by people dwelling in the northern hemisphere; one imagines some similar celebrations must have occurred among the indigenous people of southern realms around June 21 before global cultural homogenization started). One of those things we can agree about is that on the shortest day of the year, we’d all really like it if the sun would come back. So let’s focus our collective energy on generating more light — and less heat — in all our human endeavors!

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