20 Nov

I don’t want to spoil anyone’s festive season, but let’s try and make sense of it.

I can’t refer to ancient sources because a) they don’t exist and b) I lack the language skills to make sense of them if they did.

But let’s take things in order.

A lot of people out there are going to celebrate what’s called the Nativity, or an unusually conceived baby being born in extraordinary and poverty-stricken circumstances.

Forgetting the New Testament, which is biased due to the fact that it was put together by a Roman Caesar to be incontrovertible, there is no evidence anywhere for wise men, shepherds, not even the murder of the Innocents by nasty old Herod.

There is no evidence that if (and that’s a big if) that baby was ever born he grew up to be a hippie preacher.

And there’s no evidence that he was executed by order of Pontius Pilate in his thirties.

You could, of course, Google this and find several (possibly 3) references by Roman historians, but their words were written a fair time after the event so are second-hand at best.

But to look on the bright side there’s a lot of evidence that mankind has celebrated all sorts of wonderful things at this time of year, with songs and dancing and love-making round all manner of heating devices, like bonfires, open hearths and gas boilers. And there’s been no end of generosity and present-giving and insobriety….

So we can celebrate anyway, and if we want a nice little story to tell the kids there’s always Santa Claus


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