I have tried to avoid writing here because Christmas fills me with the sort of “cheer” best reserved for therapists, but I was up until all hours thinking about something and now I cannot stop thinking about it. I hope flinging it out into cyberspace will somehow alleviate the obsessive nature of this ponderance. (Big words! Merry Christmas!)So… what I’m wondering is this: Since Christmas is ostensibly a celebration of Jesus’ birth, conveniently celebrated around the time of old pagan winter festivals which were themselves probably designed to alleviate the gloom and glum of damp, dreary winter, what would happen if historians suddenly found conclusive proof that Jesus was actually born in the summer? Let’s say May. Would we all shuffle our huge consumerist decorating-and-gifts bonanza into the early summer months? What would happen to the Christmas tree? Since it’s traditionally an evergreen of some sort, best appreciated in winter, and it's meant to be a representation of the Yule log, would we just drop it? Would we pile our gifts under a willow or elm? Would we snuggle cozily into aesthetically lit family rooms and exchange gifts while sipping refreshing lemonade?
OR! Would the whole thing fall apart? How much does the winter ambience, the snow and the cold and the monotony of winter play into these “holiday feelings”? Is Christmas really one big excuse to get out of the cold-weather doldrums, just one big reason to skive off work for a few days and appreciate a good party? If it were discovered that the reason for the season is actually not seasonal at all, would we still roast the goose in December?
I am not expressing this very well at all. I am just trying to envision a Christmas-in-summer scenario and falling miserably short. Somehow, I think that if Christmas fell in May, it would be a much smaller deal. I think that I need to hear from some Aussies before I form a solid conclusion.