Friday, December 17, 2010

Pre-Christmas Celebrations.

The Christmas Market, Father Christmas, Christmas Lights and joyful expectation...

Yeah - but watch out for the "Reverend Fr.s" Scrooge and "Bishops" Cromwell amongst us... those who despise Christmas traditions and preach to their flocks, "Christmas can wait!"  "There is no Santa!"  "Don't celebrate or decorate before Christmas Eve!"  Yet Christmas prep goes on without them.  No presents for you!
In Europe, there have been pre-Christmas Christmas Markets ever since Medieval times.  Holiday merchants selling treats and finery in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  The markets were festive and joyous.  And yet modern Puritans decry pre-Christmas traditions as the commercialization of Christmas, deriding it as a wicked, modern innovation, bent on throwing Christ out of Christmas.  Ah!  Such Protestants!  History reminds us that medieval churchmen themselves once sold positions of honor and even special liturgical privileges and celebrations to the highest bidder;  and yet their descendants would deprive simple elder folks of a little bit of joy for themselves and their poor crippled children during the holiday season.  Tiny-Tim still suffers!
Photo:  Dresden Christmas Market

Please boycott anti-pre-Christmas sites and Scrooges with this symbol on their blogs.


  1. Good grief!

    I just commented on Mac's post about some bishop that wants to outlaw Santa or some damn thing. Don't they have anything better to do - like maybe save some souls - or something??

  2. You know - I just realized that in Germany they start making the Christmas treats and having the Christmas markets very early on - usually the first of Advent. And they celebrate it ALL the way through Epiphany, which they also celebrate.

    But it does have a different feel - it's authentic, for one, and you can really feel connected to your medieval forebears. I find that American Christmas traditions are commercial crap totally unrelated to Christ or real tradition. This is exemplified by certain Christmas songs like that crap "Santa Baby" and just about anything out of Mariah Carey's mouth.

    But the biggest insult is that it all ends early on Dec. 26th!

    Could it be that American Christmas is a beautiful Catholic tradition hijacked by a consumerist Post-Protestant culture?

  3. One day I am going to become a master Stollen baker, Terry.

    Just you watch and see. All of Dresden will be ordering from *me*.

    But seriously, one of the beautiful things about back then was those bakers were highly regarded in a way that bakers today are not. It was like they were on equal footing with statesmen, architects, artists, etc.

  4. Adrienne - what is this world coming to? LOL!

    Mercury - Mariah Carey is so annoying - there was a special with her on tv last week - I'd rather not celebrate Christmas than endure listening to her screaming.

    Paul - I love Stollen! I love it with marzipan in the middle. I love it any way it's prepared - by a real baker.

  5. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Never heard of Stollen. Will need to investigate...

  6. Nathan12:42 PM

    Hello, Terry--very good series of posts. I think you're on to something, not the least of which is that, as converts, it often takes us decades to start thinking like Catholics.

    I also find it interesting because I was a bit harsh on celebrating during Advent in the first couple of decades after I was received into the Catholic Church because the whole idea of Advent, especially as a penitential season, was novel. In my backwoods Virginia Methodist upbringing, the Christmas trees would go up the day after Thanksgiving (in the church as well) and we would mark Christmas up to the 25th (the Christmas service would be the Sunday before Christmas, the big Sunday School Christmas pageant the week prior to that), then everything would come down on December 26.

    Ironically, the cloths on the pulpit and communion table would end up being purple for the time we celebrated Christmas, then white when things went back to the usual "pick a scripture and preach."

    Naturally, my response when coming to the Catholic Church was, "let's do Advent, and then do Christmas!" My children are very happy that I've mellowed quite a bit about this over time.

    Nonetheless, I think one of the great things about being Catholic is that we have a whole history of popular devotion to counteract our puritanistic excesses.

    In Christ,

  7. Austringer5:53 PM

    My now-former priest was one of those who stressed the penitential aspect of the season: we were supposed to be fasting while everyone else was feasting -- and the feast didn't begin until Christmas. I took him at his word, because he is a good priest, and so we would buy our Christmas tree just a day or two before Christmas Eve.

  8. With marzipan is the best!

  9. I couldn't believe Bishop Wester here in Salt Lake City said what he did....the local news made a big bru haha about it...yet i KNOEW he supposedly had a party at his residence for "young adults", RSVP please so to know how many mints to have on hand...

    i couldn't find his article in the Intermountain Catholic...I must have used that edition for packaging.. :)

    i put up my decorations when my work and personal schedule permits...I usually put up the outdoor lights Thanksgiving weekend..wait much later and the weather majorly sucks...I turn them on First sunday of Advent....I don't do a real tree but do do a real wreath..



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