In a history that spans centuries, Christmas dwarfs all other holidays. Groundhog Day? Get real. Arbour Day? Forget about it. Thanksgiving? Maybe if there's a free iPod under that turkey. Originally set aside on the calendar for sun-worshipin' and solsticin', December 25 would have been just another unremarkable day near the end of the year, but Christianity saw the day's potential. Christmas went from an obscure blip on the calendar to the biggest holiday of all time. Like many critically lauded holidays, Christmas was originally much more popular in Europe. After crossing the pond, the holiday was met head-on by critics and purists in the American scene, namely the Puritans. They called Christmas a popish festival with no biblical justification. While its authenticity might have fallen into question, the holiday's charismatic frontman, Saint Nicholas of Myreoperating under the stage name Santa Clausand his backup crew of elves and reindeer topped the holiday charts. Charges that the feast has lost its roots and gone overly commercial have been levied in recent decades, but every year millions flock to catch Santa's one night world tour. Whether or not youre a fan, you have to respect Christmass resilience.
Fri., Dec. 25, 2009