A Selection of Christmastime Essays from the Archive…

Three Wise Men painting

It’s tended to be a little tradition around here to post a Christmas-related article or contemplation in late December.

For various reasons, I haven’t quite had it in me to write one this year.

However, I thought it would be a good time to instead revisit a few of my pieces from other years: especially as one or two of them seem to be even more relevant now than they were at the time of writing.

Also, someone told me I should more often repost older content from the archive, particularly for people who never saw the original posts.

The first of these I’ve chosen is very relevant to right now: and centered on Christmas in occupied Bethlehem, in the Palestinian West Bank.

In the original article, we looked at Christmas under Israeli Occupation. And the significant role of Bethlehem in past resistance and Palestinian Intifadas.

Here is the article: https://burningblogger.com/2021/12/24/christmas-the-little-town-of-bethlehem-the-echo-of-history/

And, more thematically, the historical and irony-laden parallels between today’s Palestinian resistance and the 1st century’s Jewish rebels who opposed the Roman occupation.

Reports have in fact been appearing in recent days about Bethlehem’s 2023 Christmas celebrations being cancelled (even the famous Christmas tree is apparently nowhere to be seen) due to the current and ongoing Israeli assault in Gaza and concurrent acts of oppression in the West Bank.

One of the questions posed in the article is whether modern Israelis, particularly Zionists, are at all conscious of the obvious similarities between the occupied Palestinians of today and the occupied Jews of Jesus’s era.

The second here was a piece about how and why Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is just as socially relevant today in England as it was when he first published it back in Victorian times.

In the context of modern austerity, cost of living crises, rampant homelessness, food banks, and a government that has frequently demonised the less fortunate instead of trying to help (even recently referring to homelessness as a ‘lifestyle choice’), the article explores how most of what Dickens’ story was protesting against is very much still in play today.

Just this week, there are reports of growing ‘black market food’ transactions taking place due to more people being unable to cope with rising prices of basic goods.

Dickens would marvel at how much similarity there still is two hundred years later to the dynamics of his day. Here is the article: https://burningblogger.com/2017/12/23/why-dickens-a-christmas-carol-is-still-so-relevant-for-today/

And the last one I’m resharing here is this essay from a few years ago that I wrote about the Nativity story, exploring the fine lines and overlap between history, myth, belief, fiction and reality.

Where does the truth lie? What really happened? And how much does it actually matter?

It actually became just as much a meditation on the very nature of ‘truth’ and reality itself.

I was actually a little pleased with this one: but I don’t think all that many people read it at the time, so maybe a few more might give it a look this time:  https://burningblogger.com/2015/12/24/the-nativity-story-myth-fact-fiction-propaganda-the-nature-of-truth/

If you never read any of these at the time and you fancy a brief Christmas time read, give one of them a look.

I’ll be back in the New Year.

And to everyone reading this, I hope you’ve had and continue to have a good and fulfilling Christmas, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, or whichever it is that you’re observing at this time of year.

My best wishes to you all.

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.