A GUIDE TO THE
HOLIDAYS BY J. MYRLE FULLER
The story goes, according to the books of Matthew and Luke, that
Joseph of Nazareth, roughly the 58th-generation of the Holy Lineage
from Adam through David, was engaged to a woman named Mary. However,
when Mary (a virgin) became pregnant, Joseph had a plan to end the
engagement before the child was born, as not to suggest shame upon the
woman. The angel Gabriel convinced him otherwise, telling Joseph that
his fiance was carrying a child of God. So, traveling to Bethlehem to
take part in a census set forth by Caesar Augustus, Joseph and the
pregnant Mary needed to stop... a nearby inn was full, so they directed
themselves to a manger, where Mary delivered the child who would be
Jesus Christ. Upon Christ's birth, angels of God went forth to local
shepherds and distant kings, who came in droves to pay homage to the
child and offer gifts. King Herod of Jerusalem wasn't too happy and
denounced claims that Christ was any king that would infringe upon his
reign, so he plotted to kill the child, asking to "go and worship" him.
Having heard divine warning of the plot, Mary, Joseph, and the Christ
eventually fled to Egypt. That's pretty much it.
THE LEGEND OF SANTA
Santa Claus is a legend based upon a philanthropist from circa AD 200
known as St. Nicholas. However, the legend has since grown into a
full-blown industry. So here's the general consensus on the legend.
Santa Claus's physical description: he is of unknown height, notably
overweight, he has a long white beard and is bald. The story of Santa
Claus's origin is disputed. However, we do know that he is married to a
woman known only as Mrs. Claus and that he lives in a workshop on the
North Pole. (Note: Geologists may
note that there are two North Poles, a geographic [covered in water and
ice] and a magnetic [under an island]. Fullervision, for the sake of
realistic possiblility, will argue that the workshop is on the magnetic
North Pole on Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada. Other organizations
have argued that Santa lives in northern Scandinavia.) The
workshop on the North Pole is manned by elves, who are responsible for
producing all of the toys in the world. (This despite most claims that
they are made by other diminuted people-- the Chinese.)
The apex of activity at the North Pole workshop comes on Christmas Eve
(December 24 for those of you in Rio Linda), when all of the elves
gather the toys and place them into a large sack for Santa Claus to
carry around the world. The sack is carried out to a large sleigh,
which is powered by nine reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph, the last with a bright red
nose to guide the sleigh during inclement weather). Santa also compiles
a list, from various sources, of all of the children to be considered
"naughty" and undeserving of gifts. The rest of the Christian children
are labeled "nice" and are rewarded with gifts from the sack. The
sleigh navigates in a fashion so that it arrives at the children's
houses at about midnight local time.
By the time this is posted, Chanukkah will be halfway finished. The
relatively minor Jewish holiday is noted so often because it lands in
roughly the same time frame as Christmas, one of the most major
Christian holidays. The story of this holiday involves a belief that
divine intervention allowed one day's worth of temple oil to last for
eight days. The custom is symbolized by lighting a menorah of nine
candles, one master candle to light the other eight, one for each day.
Also involved is a game of dreidel-spinning (the dreidel being a top
with four sides, each with Hebrew lettering) and feasts including
deep-fried potato latkes (pancake-like creations). The holiday has
obtained mainstream popularity, including comedian Adam Sandler's
famous line of
KWANZAA: IT'S FAKE, IT'S RACIST, I DON'T EVEN CONSIDER IT A HOLIDAY.
Most of them came fast and furious early in the season; they pretty
much have aired already. But here's a synopsis anyway:
If I missed something, check TVListings.Zap2it.com
(they, I admit, have
better listings than I do, and I used them to compile this list).
- It's a Wonderful Life-- The 1946 James Stewart classic
tells the story of how a guardian angel named Clarence shows a
depressed man how life would be without him. The perspective gives the
man a new view on life. Aired Nov. 27, replays Christmas night.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: The tale of Clark
Griswold (Chevy Chase) and the family's raucous holiday shenannigans. Aired Dec. 12 and 18.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The story on how the ninth
reindeer earned his spot in the reindeer lineup. Aired Dec. 1 and 17.
- Frosty the Snowman: The original tells the story of how a brave
girl named Karen tries to save the famous snowman from a
money-scheming, canniving "magician." CBS produced a sequel to the
classic; however, it is apparently only a propaganda piece. Read more here. Aired Dec. 3.
- Robbie the Reindeer. Two British-produced stories based on the
son of a never-mentioned but always alluded to Rudolph. (For those who
followed the original story, there seems to be some gender-bending
going on.) Aired Dec. 11.
- CHRISTMAS DAY FOOTBALL??!! Yes, believe it or not, because
Christmas lands on a Saturday this year, this year the NFL does have
games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day... division rivals Oakland and
Kansas City square
- A Charlie Brown Christmas. The story of how the Peanuts gang,
with the guidance of a scripture-quoting Linus, finds the true meaning
of Christmas. Aired Dec. 8 and 16.
ABC made a sequel to
this one as
well, but luckily, they did stay true to the Peanuts story. "I Want a
Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" aired
- NBA Basketball: Missing the fights in hockey? (And no, I don't
count Bettman vs. Goodenow.) No problem-- the
Pacers-Pistons rematch is on Christmas Day. (Still doesn't match
Thanksgiving football, though.) Also, the Soap Opera Lakers play in the
game afterward to face ex-teammate Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat.
- Movie: The Santa Clause. Tim Allen transforms from businessman
to Santa Claus. Aired Dec. 23.
- Christmas parade on Christmas morning.
- Christmas Eve football-- NFL: Green Bay @ Minnesota, 3:00 PM EST
- Movie: The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2003)... still
haven't figured out what this has to do with Christmas, but Rupert
Murdoch always seems to break the rules.
- NCAA college football bowl games... lots of bowl games... go here
for the bowl schedule.
- Christmas Day football-- NFL: Denver @ Tennessee, 8:30 PM EST
Buffalo: WTSS 102.5 and WJYE 96.1 continue to try and slug it out in a
corporate fight for 24-hour holiday music supremacy. Entering the fray
this year is WHTT 104.1, who will mix holiday oldies with their usual
Syracuse: WYYY 94.5 carries the holiday music.
Rochester: WBBF 93.3 carries the holiday music.
Southern Tier: The Family Life Network of religious stations is
carrying Christmas music throughout the season.
Olean: WPIG 95.7 has begun mixing holiday music with their usual
Fullervision Enterprises, Unltd. 2004
THE YEAR THAT WAS 2004... ELECTIONS, HURRICANES, WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS,
AND A YOUTH MOVEMENT... COMING AFTER CHRISTMAS!