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The Small Stuff That Doesn't Need, or Even Want, a Thread. #6


LongRider
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2 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Aye. There are a lot of Catholics round here.

Lol, as a Catholic, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Most of my friends, Catholic and others, would be disgusted at the idea of Christmas decorations going up now.

Are you sure they never actually came down? Some places leave things up, they just don’t turn in the lights.

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Growing up, the Catholics round my way generally worked themselves into a bit of a froth around Christmas. 

But at least back in those days they waited until November. 

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I'm old-fashioned. It should be the 24th and they stay up for twelve days, unless you're a Christmas market in which case you get a pass from 1st December. Any earlier and you're burning in hell along with the plastic snowmen and singing reindeer heads. (These things really exist and are nightmarish). 

TBH, I don't put up decorations. I'm a bit of a Scrooge and that's only got worse since my dad died in December a couple of years ago. But I would really like a Norfolk Island Pine as houseplant. Put a few sparkly things on it and ta-da, it's a little Christmas tree. Take them off and it can live happily by a window the rest of the year. 

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11 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

Lol, as a Catholic, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Most of my friends, Catholic and others, would be disgusted at the idea of Christmas decorations going up now.

 

 

Yeah, it's definitely not the Catholics putting up Christmas decorations in August. It might be corporate goons feebly attempting to appeal to Catholics, I suppose.

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2 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Hmmm. That may be the equivalent of what I said. 
 

Do you Islanders have a Thanksgiving?

Not generally, though I think the big companies are starting to try and market Thanksgiving as another means to separate us from our money. Make sure we aren't at risk of adding to our savings accounts in November. 

Rural communities used to have harvest festivals and harvest dinners (as seen in L.P.Hartley's 'The Go-Between'), but these aren't so common now and tended to fall earlier in the year. September-ish. 

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6 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

So when is the earliest acceptable time to put up Christmas decorations?

For us it’s the day after Thanksgiving.

Because you Americans have a weird Thanksgiving, almost the end of November, that sounds reasonable. In Canada, though, Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October, a good six weeks earlier. Because, ya know, almost everything had been harvested. And snow may have started on the prairies.

Decorations can go up in December. I go with friends the first weekend in December to chop down a tree, but I’ve stopped getting a tree with them because, no matter how hard I try, my trees die so quickly. I’d rather buy a tree a week before Christmas and keep it up until mid January, if I get a tree at all. I almost weep when I see people throwing their trees out on Boxing Day or the day after. I guess if you have kids they want the tree up as early as possible and once they get their presents they lose all interest.

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Random, but I enjoyed reading this:

World's oldest letter handwritten by a Christian identified by the University of Basel. They've owned it for a hundred years after buying an assortment of papyri. I can't find out where they bought them from, just that they 'were acquired'. The English sources are all very passive voice. 

Fish liver sauce has got to be close relative of the infamous garum. These days if I was reading historical fiction and saw the writer drop in a mention of fish sauce, I might think unfairly that they were being a bit cliched. But this letter is a reminder that the stuff was more or less its own food group. 

Also interested to read that the letter writer and his brother were from a wealthy provincial family. Always puzzled how Christianity managed to go from freaky fringe cult to state religion. I can see how it would be useful to the emperors after it managed to become semi-respectable, but it's the jump from an offshoot of Judaism for oddballs expecting the end of the world to being the faith of people like Arrianus and Paulus with their extensive lands and vats of fish sauce that trips me up. 

Edited by dog-days
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On 9/3/2023 at 12:43 PM, dog-days said:

 

Always puzzled how Christianity managed to go from freaky fringe cult to state religion. I can see how it would be useful to the emperors after it managed to become semi-respectable, but it's the jump from an offshoot of Judaism for oddballs expecting the end of the world to being the faith of people like Arrianus and Paulus with their extensive lands and vats of fish sauce that trips me up. 

I've often wondered about that too.  Any history books shine light on the matter?  

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I’ll ask my friends if they can recommend a good book, but over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean and further because it was so different from every other religion people followed. If you think royalty and the upper classes are obnoxious now, just think of who the ruling classes were, how small a group it was, and what they did to people, in Greek and Roman times.

Most people were workers or slaves. What hope did they have from Roman and Greek gods? Their worlds were full of multiple gods who ruled at a whim, came down to rape and murder, and even treated their own with cruelty. And Romans and Egyptians and even Israelis used human sacrifice to appease their gods. Whatever you think of Christianity now, the central message of Jesus was about love and forgiveness. His two great commandments are love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and secondly, love thy neighbour as thy self. Lead a good life and God will welcome you into heaven.

Go read the Beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, they who mourn, they who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake. 

Those are really powerful messages, and they were incredibly moving and meaningful to people. Much better than gods who’ll kill you at their whim, or play with your life or destroy your land. Who listened only to kings and emperors.

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4 hours ago, Tears of Lys said:

Any history books shine light on the matter

Many, in fact. :cheers:

One of the most important reasons is that for a very long time prior to Constantine the Christians and their own organizations and structures were modeling on those of the Roman Empire, particularly the administrative ones.  Made it very convenient for a unification ideal for an empire under siege from changing times and peoples.

This was equally true for the Roman armies, which by the the century were manned by many ethnicities and religious practices.  Christianity helped wield them into unification too, as it wasn't the predominant one of any one of the others. Adopting this religion, which already functioned in so many ways in a Roman manner, was very helpful.

Belated addition to say what we all know, which is the supreme irony then is -- as soon as Christianity is the official religion of the state, because they are such an excellent tool for unity government and all the rest, the Christians go to war with each other -- over which practice of religion gets to be The Religion.  Which has been a plague on all our houses ever since.

Edited by Zorral
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