Merry Christmas people!
Holidays are here and it’s merry merry bustling everywhere. It’s the celebration of love, light and peace and Santa would be soon visiting us all with bundles of joy.
But this year has a totally new vibe to offer and by this year I mean 2020 and with the name of the year you know what I mean. Santa better give sanitizers and masks as added gifts this time. Jokes apart, celebration is a need but safety shall be given more importance.
Christmas has such effect on people all around the globe. If not the festival, at least the season and the hopes for a new coming year is commonly celebrated around the world. But since it’s corona period and everything is considered with scrutiny, be it sapien killing virus or virus killing vaccine, we thought to poke our noses into the snow and find out why Christmas is so hyped and if it is worth the hype.
❄What is Christmas
Yeah is that even a question bro?
But since we always start with something so non relevant like this and by the end somehow even the non relevant gives some good points, we are going to start with some Christmas history.
Ok so did you know that Christmas isn’t the celebration of birth of baby Jesus? You probably did but there are people who don’t know it cuz Christmas is usually associated with the birth eve of Lord Jesus. In fact Holy Bible doesn’t give an exact date of birth so that we could celebrate the birth of God, but research says that from what the Bible says, the season doesn’t add up at all to be a cold and dark one. The biggest plot point of shepherds watching over their flock from Bible alone speaks of the season to be something warm. It is probably somewhere around may to October that Jesus must have born considering the seasonal appearances referred in Bible. As for when Jesus was really born, many Christians base their calculation on the birth of Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist. John was conceived six months before Jesus. If his birth is taken into consideration, it leaves Jesus’s birth in June. United Church of God specifically names June 13 to 17 as a likely time Jesus was born.
But that doesn’t stop us a bit from celebrating the glory of this season.
Since I said that I should say that December and the rise of light after long periods of dark cold days has been a matter of celebration across many cultures and religions. From Jewish to the Pagans to the Germanic to the Romans, period ranging from middle to end of December has always been associated to some kind of holiday and celebration. Historians believe that Christians brought up the birth of Jesus as a counter cultural event to all the other events, especially the pagan ones, occurring around the December period. Pagans celebrate the rise of light on 25th after the long night while Christians celebrated the light that is brought by God after the long cold night.
Another theory speaks of how the Western Church accepted the date of March 25th as the annunciation or Immaculate Conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. So December 25th is 9 months from then and is thus considered to be birthday of baby Jesus.
Anyway that’s enough on Jesus and birth but what is Christmas actually?
Christmas means “Christ-mass.” Although the date is a guess, the tradition of observing it goes back to at least the fourth century. Under the influence of the church, Christian traditions replaced pagan solstice festivals throughout Europe. Often the more innocent pagan practices (such as bringing in a Yule log, decorating with holly and the like) were carried over into the Christmas observance, transfigured with new meaning.
Anyway it’s a merge of many cultural ideas and that is what makes Christmas acceptable around the globe. All traditions link to the warmth of love shared in cold periods of December. The unity and togetherness, the sharing and caring, the love and light, the musing and the music along with the energy and bustle despite the freezing climate is what makes Christmas Christmas.
🎅🏻Who is Santa Clause and what’s with the gift sharing
Everyone feels familiar with the old man in red fur riding magical wagon run by deers but how many are familiar with who this man really is and what this man has to do with Christmas.
Santa Claus or St. Nicholas was born in Patara, Turkey in third century. He lost his parents at a very young age and was with left with a good inheritance. He was a man of faith and used the money he acquired to help poor families by gifting them without hoping nothing in return. Later he became the Bishop of Church of Myra.
He was imprisoned for being so faithful and religious during the days of Christian persecution. But he stood close to his faith and was released later. He died on December 6th, 343 AD.
Later at his burial site people found the growth of a substance called Manna which is said to have good healing powers. This further accentuated the belief that he was a saint.
Of the various stories of St. Nicholas helping poor, one story where he helped three poor kids by gifting them gold and thereby saving the dowry problem that blocked their marriage got really popular. This was followed by more St. Nicholas helping kids stories by gifting them things that they needed the most.
With immigrants movement to America the stories and holidays followed them to the New world. The Dutch brought along the story of Sinterklaas, which is the Dutch word to denote St.Nicholas and the story speak of the popular belief that Sinterklaas brought gift to the poor and kids. This spread quick through the English mouths and soon Sinterklaas became Santa Claus.
Now to the gift and apparel of Santa, the credit goes to Washington Irving who wrote the book Diedrich Knickbocker’s History of New York describing Santa as a jolly man riding flying wagon pulled by horses. He was followed by Clement Moore who wrote the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which reshaped Santa to be a round bellied big man riding a flying wagon pulled by eight reindeers instead of horse.
The apparel looks was sponsored by Thomas Nast who on light of Moore’s poem pictured Santa in a red suit and gave him old man looks. He also added Santa to be coming from North Pole.
Nast was followed by artist Haddon Sundblom who gave Santa more human traits and made him more popular amongst kids of America.
But how did Santa Claus got merged with Christmas. The writing media obviously! They were fed up picturing Christmas as a day to drink and fight and wanted more out of it. They wanted a picture of kindness and love covering all the drunk and lost, so the writers of New York brought up Santa and his kindness as the face of Christmas. The first note of Santa Claus arriving on December 25th occurred in 1821 with a children’s book entitled, The Children’s Friend. The book described many aspects of Santa Claus, one in which he brought toys on Christmas Eve. This was one of many writings that helped bring Santa Claus to life on Christmas, changing the Christmas celebrations forever.
And with that Santa becomes the face of Christmas all around the globe.
🎄What’s the hype then?
“If it was history we needed we could have used Google Yo!”- Says someone’s head, reading all of this. I just wanted to dig deep and now that I have dug above all the merry cherry cream of cake I see something that does everything to keep Christmas running no matter what happens.
Business and profit.
See this is simple. Rewind to what you read and check what Christmas was all about. It is about reunion, yes. It is about love and care, yes. It is also about sharing and caring. Yes. Sharing meant anything from physical to mental back then. Some used Christmas as the ideal day for marriage. Most considered it as the day to join masses in church after which they enjoyed the eve together. There were candles and light everywhere. There was booze obviously and there was fun. But since this is America and since America has a dream which invites commercialization and capital everywhere, eventually Christmas became the grand commercial ending of the year, after which they close happily on Christmas Eve.
Pouring in some history, after the Santa image of Nast and Sundblom became a sensation another image on Godey’s Lady’s Book’s which portrayed a family and their Christmas tree became the next big thing.
Soon Christmas tree became the Christmas thing. When everyone had tree some started adding ornaments and tinsel. When that became common some started adding candles and flowers and garments and hangings and wool cloths and whatever that shined and suited as to keep the tree unique. This customization thing of bringing uniqueness and variety in trees still stays, where real trees themselves are grown outside houses and are lit with LED of all kinds making it more of a light show and less of a tree. I mean with all the pollution in sky, one’s gotta make sure Santa see the tree and give impressive gifts cuz of that.
This gift idea too had massive growth. Gifts soon became no surprise but something to be expected no matter what. Since Santa can’t bring gifts to everyone, elders should and elders have to deliver what is asked to be delivered. Now what is asked to be delivered is manipulated too. All kinds of quirky stuff are advertised to brainwash children’s minds and it’s a deliver or die situation at most homes. Now this is mandatory since you got to let the world know what you did on Christmas Eve. Essentially how much you paid has value in feed/timeline so what do you do? Exactly! Spend moooooreeeee. Buy expensive clothes, drink expensive drinks, dance in expensive parties and gift the most expensive gift that you can afford. Not generalizing obviously since I worry if this isn’t actually real and somehow my writing this could make this real, and the last thing I wanna do is spend more on gifts. So not generalizing, yes, as there are people who just sit at home typing in computers about stuff that people may not even care to read.
Coming back to the point, have we got Christmas a bit too commercialized? I mean think of it. Even this year, despite of all the corona fear, sales started way before thanksgiving and black Friday. Cyber Monday, a thing that rose because of Christmas hit its peak this year as people wanted to buy online. Stores are still crowded and images of Santa using all sorts of thing, even sanitizer can be seen at places.
Let’s admit, commercialization feeds a lot and I ain’t against it. That’s how the world works. In an era of finding love via application in Smartphone screen that promotes eating at expensive restaurant and watching movies to prove love, well sharing love alone as Christmas gift ain’t gonna work. Can’t do with warmth either, as social distancing is the trend and we have sweaters to keep us warm. So spending is what we can do and that is how the world works.
🤶🏻Is it worth the Hype?
See Christmas isn’t a hype that can be concluded exclusively to hype heads. It’s a global thing. It’s that feeling that pokes our minds the moment December arrives. This is no hype for all. It’s a celebration and despite all the commercial side, it still is the festival of togetherness and love.
The motive as to choose Christmas as a hype wasn’t just the curiosity to know more about this all reaching celebration but also about how spending money and showing off a virtual meter to prove how much you are enjoying felt to me as a new spreading thing.
Spending money is a personal thing and as I said earlier, commerce holds a big bond with Christmas and Christmas holds a big bond with commerce. It is the trade that holds up Christmas around the globe despite having varying cultures and it is Christmas and the apparels that it earned that make traders a profit to live on.
But what is not cool is the idea that is brewed by traders and rich alike that Christmas is all about spending more. That bragging about the queue you had to push in at a mall to buy something as token of love or lighting up the house better than your neighbor is what Christmas is, is wrong. Christmas itself comes up as a tradition of varieties mixed into one. It is a time to share and gift, but it isn’t mandatory to gift more. It isn’t mandatory that the size of what you spend on the gift shows the size of your love. A gift can be anything as long as it is given as a token of love support and care.
Beyond all this there is something more.
Christmas, according to psychologists, records the most number of depression cases in the year.
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean everyone is happy. How often do people think of their neighbors or that house across the street that may have someone grieving over something. His grievances aren’t a hindering to your celebrations indeed. But your celebrations and the hype it pulls shouldn’t make him sad and pushed to celebrate or fake happiness. It is hard for those people in agony to live up to the hype of happiness and fun that Christmas pushes on them. Maybe go them and lend a hand or ask how they are or gift them something or invite them over but never push them to, and that maybe the best Christmas thing to be done in Christmas.
So is Christmas worth the hype? Yes. Christmas is worth the hype for what it stands for. It unites people and brings them joy.
As an end note, Christmas and the love it shares is great until it gets overrated and mandatory. Spending for Christmas is great unless you do it as a competition to show your wealth. Don’t hype and force people to be happy. If they are sad stand by them and show them you care for them. Believe in the idea that Christmas gives above the products that it brings and that makes Christmas the perfect end for a year.
Also, corona virus is still around us. So when celebrating reduce close interactions in crowds. I know Christmas is all about mingling with others. But it is necessary to be safe and thereby keeping others safe. Use masks and other necessary precautions when you are out in the cold. Test if symptoms are seen and isolate yourself at home. It’s true that sitting at home, maybe in a room isn’t nothing like Christmas. But as I said Christmas isn’t about following some definitive hyped rules of celebrations. If you are at quarantine and stick to that despite it being the holidays Hype Theory salutes your effort. You have gifted others health by isolating yourselves. If you decide to not push yourself out if you don’t feel like and stay home in warmth, you did the right thing as there is nothing that says Christmas should be followed in a definite way. This Christmas let’s stay safe by following necessary precautions and thereby let’s gift others and ourselves health and joy.
Hype theory thanks you for reading so far and showing your support. We love you. Let’s hope this season brings us an effective cure to corona as a gift and let’s support everyone out there who is working to make this dream come true. If you wish to read for more from us, do make sure to follow us here and other social platforms. We would love to hear your thoughts and memories about Christmas in the comments below.
Let’s spread light and gift love.
Let’s stay safe
Merry Christmas ♥