[Dixielandjazz] Deck the Halls With Boston Charlie

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 11 08:06:48 PST 2005

Why all this flap about Christmas Music? It does not snow in that part of
the world so why do we worry about snow songs? Etc., etc.

December 25th as Christmas started about AD 354. Christians had by then
appropriated many pagan festivals and traditions of the season, that were
practiced in many parts of the Middle East and Europe, as a means of

The earliest English reference to December 25th as Christmas Day did not
come until 1043.

There were mid-winter festivals in ancient Babylon and Egypt, and Germanic
fertility festivals also took place at this time. The birth of the ancient
sun-god Attis in Phrygia was celebrated on December 25th, as was the birth
of the Persian sun-god, Mithras. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a
festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of peace and plenty, that ran from the
17th to 24th of December. Public gathering places were decorated with
flowers, gifts and candles were exchanged and the population, slaves and
masters alike, celebrated the occasion with great enthusiasm.

Scandinavian "Yule" festivities contributed impetus to pagan celebration. As
Winter ended the growing season, the opportunity of enjoying the Summer's
bounty encouraged much feasting and merriment. Another popular ritual was
the burning of the Yule Log, which typified pagan worship of vegetation and
fire, as well as being associated with magical powers.

The Celtic culture of the British Isles revered mistletoe and holly. These
symbols of fertility were used for decorating their homes and altars.

Celebrating Christmas has always been controversial. Since numerous
festivities found their roots in pagan practices, they were greatly frowned
upon by conservatives within the Church. The feasting, gift-giving and
frequent excesses presented a drastic contrast with the simplicity of the
Nativity, and many people throughout the centuries and into the present,
condemn such practices as being contrary to the true spirit of Christmas.

So, perhaps we might be happy, and quit celebrating December 25 for the ego
driven wrong reasons, splashy expensive gift giving, etc. Why not celebrate
the original message all the time?

Musical Content:

Deck The Halls With Boston Charlie . . .
Nora's Freezin On The Trolley . . . etc.


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