Books I Would Recommend for Christmas

Being a so-called “lapsed Anglican”, I have a tendency to view persons devoutly and with great religious belief celebrating Christmas as the actual day when Jesus was born as not particularly “of the faith”, as – unfortunately – the Bible itself disputes that very fact.

Shepherds were still tending their flocks when Jesus was born, when in actuality the flocks were brought out of the fields during the winter months in Palestine. More to the point, the very fact that the inns were full (which was why Jesus is said to have been born in a manger) only regularly occurred during the harvest season, or, in the case of the believed year of Jesus’ birth, 5 BC, the Romans were conducting a census of their conquered regions and required their citizens to congregate in major populated regions so as to be counted.

These biblical descriptors therefore pinpoint the birth of Jesus as occurring during the harvest season somewhere between Aug. 27 to Sept. 9. Other religious scholars suggest Aug. 21, for whatever reason they never say, but for the benefit of the doubt we’ll suggest that the stress of the journey to Bethlehem may have induced a mildly premature birth. In any case, by utilizing the length of human gestation, these numbers also indicate a potential birth date some time in late August and early September, 5 BC.

It’s interesting to note that anyone who chooses to pursue their Christian beliefs into the Ministry have these facts explained to them in Religious Studies programs offered in most Canadian universities. They are also aware that Dec. 25is actually the alleged date of birth of several “idols”, including three Egyptian “gods” they worshipped at the times of enslavement of the Jewish people.

Seriously, though, I don’t really mind Christmas being celebrated on the 25th, as family gatherings of a religious nature are less inclined to be derailed in their importance by some dumb uncle starting to talk about his “feelings” about Justin, Pierre (either one), The Donald, Putin, Zelenskyy or Netanyahu, to name a few. That’s because between Sept. 21 and Christmas I often find myself depressed and requiring serious inspiration to even want to work – a common emotional malady I am told can be attributed to our daylight hours are incrementally decreasing. However, on Dec. 25, we’re then four days “over the hump”, daylight hours are increasing, and this very fact seems to trigger something in all of us that says “Party Time!”. 

Fortunately for mankind, scant attention is paid to periods of proper “partying”, which means that such a day should be devoid of concerns as to whether or not you’d gone to Mass that morning or you are suddenly afflicted with abnormal eye “tics” whenever seeing certain individuals of “different” skin colouring in the party animals present for the occasion. More to the point, however, is that IF the tilting of the Earth’s axis elicits such a positive response in our northern hemisphere, then perhaps we should be considering celebrating the birth of Jesus in similar fashion when the axis changes direction on June 21 down south. I am fairly certain that the Walton family (Wal-Mart) or recently divorced Jeff Bezos (Amazon) would love such an event. 

As for myself, I’d personally choose July 1st, which is only ten days past “hump day”; however, I’m almost certain that the Americans would veto such a choice, what with their almost unshakeable belief that they are the only nation on Earth that counts, thus making July 4th a far more likely candidate seeking world approval for such a holiday.

Ah, yes, you say – all that consumerism FINALLY wrapped up in a compromise of melding religious belief with capitalism – coming, no less, from a “leftist pinko” such as I who regularly pledges my troth to the NDP.

It’s easy from this point onward to suggest that my more “woke” comrades would demand my crucifixion instead. However, if they even thought about it for a few moments, there would be a realization that such actions, Jonathan Swift-like that they may seem (without consuming any babies, a practice frowned upon by MAGA Republicans and Elon Musk alike), would by the enormity of change in economic perspectives result (I would sincerely hope, at least) in the need for a world-wide consensus as to how our dwindling rare resources could be better utilized.

More to the point, such a change would have to spur manufacturers to improve the longevity of their equipment, not to mention creating a production model that does not have to be redesigned every six months to conform to consumer stylization. As well, the demand for skilled labour forces due to production expansion would result in more workers contemplating unionized work with their better wage and benefits potential, due to the increasingly high cost of specialized education being borne by the potential wage earner. 

For people worried as to how much such celebration would cost, my advice would be to not even worry about it, because people have other things to worry about at the moment, such as our dwindling food supplies, companies deliberately delaying the delivery of products due to “Covid”, or the re-emergence of vainglorious idiots.

Seriously, though, how many people do you currently buy presents for who play no significant role in either yours or your family’s life? Buy those individuals something of more significance to their personal existence as opposed to the gift coming from you, personally. For instance, If your 25 to 35 year-old cousin working in the Oil Patch supported the “Freedom” Convoy but refuses to consider enlisting in the Ukrainian army, buy him the latest “Just for Dummies” edition of “Respect the Lines: A Guide to Parking Lot Etiquette” and wrap it up in the glove compartment of his new ¾ ton pick-up.

Come to think of it, perhaps it’s better that you consider writing your own book as a present for the kids, particularly the teenage ones who are wondering why it is that no one gives a tinker’s damn about them whenever their futures are discussed. Fill it with promises of hours you will spend for the next year coming to school events, helping them with homework, listening as to what they would hope for the future, or aiding in the diminution of family strife in their lives.

It’s your family that deserves something meaningful from you this holiday season; the question is, “Do you care enough to deliver its contents?”