Christmas Day will always be, just as long as we have we. – Dr. Seuss
In “Visions of Sugarplums” I imagined a Christmas centuries in the future, and that’s probably the least-fantastic premise of the entire story: I am sure that Dr. Seuss was correct in asserting that the holiday will last for as long as humans remain human, because it has already lasted for as long as we’ve been civilized (and began just a bit before). What we now regard as the “jolliest” of holidays started out as a dead-serious affair involving human sacrifice and inspired by the event from which the myths of the Fall are derived, yet many of our Christmas traditions can be traced directly back to that dark beginning. But so much other lore has been added along the way that I couldn’t fit it all into just my Christmas columns; you might be interested in these discussions of the Christmas tree and other greenery, Saint Nicholas and other gift-giving figures, the traditions which grew into Carnival and official Christianity’s long crusade against the holiday, and that’s just a start. If you’ve got some time to kill tomorrow, there are quite a few items in every December that relate either directly or indirectly to the holiday that dominates this month so thoroughly that it’s impossible to even hear the word “December” without thinking of it. And since I have written so extensively on it in the past, I don’t think I have to feel bad about taking today off from blogging to commit myself to cooking for my family and then having a well-earned rest when it’s all done. Merry Christmas, dear readers!