@ John Bell: You might like to check out “How …

Comment on Santa’s big day: Hot and maybe wet by Alex Nelson.

@ John Bell: You might like to check out “How December 25 Became Christmas – Andrew McGowan” (google it) which provides a very interesting account of the rise to dominance of this particular date. It’s much more complex than the commonly held belief that the Emperor Constantine was responsible for this choice.
You’re right – the actual birth date of Christ doesn’t matter which is exactly what the earliest Christians thought, too.
Originally Christ’s birth day wasn’t considered important and that is why nobody is even certain what year it was, let alone the date.
You say that Christmas “celebrates coming out of darkness into everlasting enlightenment, love and hope” but in fact that was the purpose behind the Resurrection of Christ which was the primary focus, indeed the core, of early Christian belief – without that, everything else was irrelevant.
There’s nothing wrong with going around in seasonal circles, that’s our planet’s reality. As a life-long gardener and nature observer, I cherish the seasons – we know of no other place in the universe that is as benign as our own world.
And as for history repeating, one has only to look at the overwhelming dominance of crass consumerism masquerading as “gift giving” to realize that Christmas these days is as pagan as it ever might have been in ancient times.
So yes, I prefer to ignore Christmas and downplay the significance of birth days (especially as I get older) and accept every day I’m in good health, alive and breathing, to be just as significant as any other day.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Santa’s big day: Hot and maybe wet
@ John Bell: I retrieved my copy of the Good News Bible (Catholic Study Edition), blew the dust of the top, and opened it to the very first story in the Book of Genesis, “The Story of Creation.”
Here I find the tale of how God created the universe and the world in six days; and with each day after He had created some aspect of the world as we know it, “God was pleased with what he saw.”
It was on the fourth day that God created the sun, moon and stars “to separate day from night and to show the time when days, years, and religious festivals begin; they will shine in the sky to give light to the earth – and it was done.”
So, according to the Catholic version of the Book of Genesis, it was on the fourth day of Creation we can take it that God made such events including solstices and equinoxes.
Yep, sure enough, at the end of the fourth day we’re told: “And God was pleased with what he saw.”
Seems to me it’s kind of hard to be critical of the pagans of long ago celebrating these perfectly natural occasions as religious festivals.
Incidentally, I stand to be corrected on my first comment, this year the actual solstice occurred at about 2am Australian Central Standard Time on December 22.
OK, so we have confirmation that the Bible approves the natural events like solstices because “God was pleased with what he saw.”
How about Christmas as Jesus Christ’s birthday? Well, from a recent posting “What history really tells us about the birth of Jesus” (google it) I obtain this quote: “Firstly, the actual birth day of Jesus was not December 25. The date we celebrate was adopted by the Christian church as the birthday of Christ in the fourth century. Prior to this period, different Christians celebrated Christmas on different dates.”
Oh dear, methinks the pagans have it. Ho! Ho! Ho! indeed.


Santa’s big day: Hot and maybe wet
Today (December 21) just happens to be the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, the longest day of the year.
This means we can all now look forward to blazing hot weather for the next two or three months – just what you all wanted to know, I’m sure!
Of course, the situation is the reverse in the northern hemisphere; and indeed the winter solstice is the actual original date and reason for celebration in pre-Christian times, before being replaced by Christmas Day.
So, merry solstice, everybody!


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Anzac Oval: hand it over, says NT Government
@ Hal Duell (Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm):My personal opinion is that I think you’re on the money with your suggestion about the NT Government’s motives, Hal.


Rain: Yesss!
@ Charlie Carter (Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:44 am): You’re correct, Charlie, except the Indian Ocean dipole is positive and the major driver of the current drought conditions across much of Australia.
So now we’re about to cop it from both directions – a “perfect storm,” oddly enough.


Govt spokesman hits out at Opposition over floor price
There’s a strong element of history repeating here, or at least there’s a major risk of it happening again.
A previous scheme to deal with the rampant abuse of alcohol was attempted by the NT Government, under then CLP Chief Minister (and Member for Fannie Bay) Marshall Perron, with the introduction in 1991 of the 10-year Living With Alcohol program.
The scheme was financed with an excise on the price of full-strength beers, wines and spirits.
It was at this time that light and mid-strength beers were widely introduced for sale as a measure to reduce overall alcohol consumption levels in the NT. In 1992 the Alcohol Policy Unit of the Department of Chief Minister found that average weekly consumption of alcohol in the NT was “about 50% greater than the national average and at least 40% higher than any other state or territory” (Alcohol Fact Sheet, NTG, May 19, 1993).
The Living With Alcohol program was generally regarded as having a positive impact; although in the mid 1990s there was (yet again) a crisis in Alice Springs over alcohol abuse and attendant crime and anti-social behaviour.
This was the time when the Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition (later Group) was established by concerned local residents in response to this crisis.
The Living With Alcohol program fell victim to a High Court case decided in August 1997 (Ha v New South Wales), when – in a narrow result – the High Court ruled that such excises are a tax on sale, production and manufacture of goods prior to consumption, contrary to Section 90 of the Australian Constitution.
This prompted the Howard Government to introduce the GST to compensate for the loss of revenue to the states and territories resulting from the High Court’s decision.
Now here we go again? God help us!


Rain: Yesss!
Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology this afternoon raised the chance of an El Nino this summer from “watch” to “alert,” with a 70% likelihood of it now occurring.
The rain that some of us received today was delightful but came from an isolated storm. We are in classic drought territory.


Boundless downturn: retail and tourism figures decline
I contend the NT makes a good economic barometer for the country as a whole.
The NT’s economy is often compared with the resources-dominant economies of WA and Queensland but I think that’s misleading.
We’re far more dependent on Commonwealth support.
However, the NT is politically insignificant on a national stage so when times start to get difficult, the welfare of the NT is not uppermost in most Federal politicians’ minds, especially when the respective governments (and Territory Federal representation) are of opposing political persuasions as happens to be the case right now. The signals are not good.
In addition, there are some other indicators of concern. Fuel prices are rising significantly with apparently no relief in the near future.
The drought is worsening and a new El Nino is imminent so food security may become an issue next year (markedly similar to the early 1980s coincident with the recession of that time).
This could lead to inflationary pressure which might delight the Reserve Bank of Australia but not be of much mirth to many others at a time of flat-lining wages growth, high levels of personal indebtedness and rising bank interest rates.


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