Friday, December 24, 2010


For today, completely forget every bit of historical or religious background concerning Christmas. Everything: Jesus, Germanic paganism, fourth century Greek saints, Saturnalia, and all the rest. Forget it all.

But let's preserve the exhibition. Keep in your mind the tree, the lights, the jolly fat guy with presents, the wrapping paper, the cards, the stockings, the calendar date, the mistletoe, the nog, the red and green everything, the candy canes, and anything else that comes to mind.

Now, your job is to come up with a Definitive Grand Unified Story of Christmas. All the details, from the red and green lights to the jolly fat guy and the egg nog should be folded into one completely original story, set wherever and whenever you'd like -- but give Western civilization enough time to adopt the celebration in a natural manner. Make it magical, make it sensible, or combine the two. We don't care. Try to include as many elements as you can without devolving into incoherence. Pull everything together into a happy holiday bow of explanation. Your Christmas gift to humankind will be a fresh start regarding the historiographical confusion and philosophical apprehension surrounding "the most wonderful time of the year". Get at it.

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