Only a week left for most people before Christmas. (Russian Orthodox, what my Polish family members always called “Little Christmas”, is January 7th,) I am not done with my shopping, I haven’t done ANY baking yet, and we still need to put up the tree. Sometimes I wonder why I still get so into it, since I am not Christian… then I realize,,, there is more to this time of year than the celebration of Christ‘s birth (Which more likely took place in April. YOu don’t have your flocks in the fields in winter,) The older traditions from Pagan paths celebrated the change in the seasonal placement of the planets. The return of the sun to a closer path to earth. Decorating with greenery and lights, although temporarily banned in the Colonies/states in the early days of the US, stretch back into history, too. Today’s massive popularity of the Christmas tree? Comes from England’s Queen Victoria, who brought the custom from Germany to honor her husband, Prince Albert. Giving gifts? Ancient Rome.
This year, it seems there is more than the usual stupidity about the truth of the origins of traditions, and what can and cannot be.
Who says Santa can’t be black? NEW FLASH: ANYONE can be Santa Claus, He is an ideal, a symbol, and his own origins are as mixed as any other holiday tradition. Why do we not see more black Santas? Because those mixed origins are mostly northern European, from a point in history when blacks were not commonly found in northern Europe. Because until the rise of black slavery in the US, blacks in Africa followed their own tribal religions, and had no connection to the white Christianity. Some of the oldest Nativity sets I have seen depict every human character as a Caucasian. How many fair-haired, blue-eyed Marys are there, bending over that simple manger? But look at the truth of the area in the time period concerned. There weren’t many blondes or redheads in what is now Israel. My mother’s Nativity set is one of my favorites: the Magi are three different ethnic representations: Moor, Asian and Arabic. Makes sense, too.
So, there is no reason Santa can’t be black, just because he hasn’t been depicted as black often YET. He didn’t have reindeer until Clement Moore!
Now, while some people continue to argue the point, I am going off to watch “The Hogfather“.