The true meaning of Christmas
Christmas at Olsobip

The ‘tru’ meaning of Christmas

| Published in PNG Attitude, 22 December 2017

TUMBY BAY - With Christmas nearly upon us, I have a couple of questions.

But let’s start with some suppositions.

If you are a believer, the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ. Sent here by God to save mankind from itself.

If you are a non-believer, the meaning of Christmas is mostly to do with the end of seasons and celebrations of goodwill through acts of giving and eating too much.

This is personified by a character variously referred to as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, or Kris Kringle in the USA.

I wonder who sent us Santa Claus. Maybe Mammon or was it an American spin doctor?

Santa Claus 1881We do know, however, that in 1881 this illustration by Thomas Nast in the US magazine Harper’s Weekly helped create Santa’s modern image.

Now to some more profound questions.

How come God sent his son to Bethlehem? In the Middle East of all places? From what I hear it wasn’t a bad spot way back then.

Why didn’t he send him to.… I don’t know, Papua New Guinea. Waigani maybe?

If God was intent on saving sinners what better place could He pick?

Papua New Guinea was positively lousy with sin, just ask the missionaries.

You name it, PNG had it all. False idols, sorcery, tribal warfare, nudity etc. A few of the people were even eating each other for goodness sake!

It seems God’s priorities were a bit off. And why didn’t He tell anyone in PNG what He was up too at the time?

Alright, so he eventually got round to it. But he left it until the late 19th century. Bit late I would have thought.

I suppose there might have been some practical considerations. If He had sent His son to Papua New Guinea we probably would have made Him a Grand Chief.

That would have made the whole story a bit better - driving the corrupt out of the temples and all that.

Okay, so now let’s look at those whacko atheists and those true believers who like a bit of pashing and pudding with their piety.

How come Santa wears a heavyweight red suit with fur trim and drives a sleigh pulled by a reindeer?

Why doesn’t he wear arse-grass and drive a Toyota pulled by pigs?

Now I think about, he must know about the Highland Highway and its unfriendliness to sleighs.

And why does Santa insist on landing on roofs made of grass or saksak that are likely to collapse from the weight at any moment?

Why does he climb down chimneys that don’t exist and putting all the goodies in stockings that no one in their right mind would wear in the tropics?

Positively weird.

Don’t get me wrong. I reckon God, Jesus and Santa Claus are good blokes.

Hang on! Did I say ‘blokes’?

God a woman 3What happened to the ladies?

Is God a lady?

How come God sent Her son, not Her daughter? Has God got a daughter?

How come Santa Claus is an old fat white male? At the moment they’re either on the outer or in intensive care.

Wouldn’t Kim Kardashian make a better Santa Claus?

Oh, I see, big bum – no good for sliding down chimneys. What was I thinking?

What a strange, hyped up world we live in.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we just forgot all that hype and just used the time to get on with each other for once, catch up with old friends and generally bask in peace and good fortune for a while?

Bit boring, you reckon?

Oh well, I tried.


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Paul Oates

If you look through the plethora of accounts written about Yesu, son of Yosef well after he died, as a traditional Jew, he clearly believed in compassion and understanding when dealing with his fellow humans.

The question might then be asked, why let the facts ruin such wonderful stories about compassion, songs, music and gift giving in many of the traditional stories about Christmas. Clearly the traditional European mid-winter solstice ceremonies were about how to brighten everyone’s hopes whilst in the middle of the depressing cold winter.

The fact that people were able to have an enjoyable time until a few decades ago without cash registers and credit cards should also be noted.

The problem is one of culture. As a child I was taught the golden rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

As I grew older, I found that a different rule was: ‘Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.’

Then I travelled and experienced many other cultures where the rules depended on what the local culture was. e.g. ‘Don’t give a person too big a gift if it means they hate you because they can’t return the favour.’

So let’s keep Christmas simple. Yes, I’m sorry but there’s no consumerism and profit in that, thank heavens.

I wonder however what Yesu’s take would be on what I read in a report in today’s news (page 9 of the Oz), that the Chinese Communist Party has reacted to the growth of the Chinese Christian adherents from 30 million to 100 million. The CCP has now reissued their ‘improved’ New Testament where, as an example, it is reported Jesus saved an adulterous woman from a mob about to stone her to death.

In the traditional Bible speech, he was supposed to have said: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.’

In the new ‘improved’ CCP version of the Bible, the report commented, when the crowd then crept away, Jesus then stoned the woman himself.

Harry Topham

Phil, 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' as the Beatles were fond of singing. I say nice story with good balance of irony/fact.

I thought it was in the same spirit of good neighbourhood friendliness.

All the best for the festive season, Phil, and a word of caution. Watch the sugar levels with all those forbidden fruits on offer. One could easily let ones guard down.

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