Christmas · vicarage life

Happy Unbirthday! What’s in a date?

It’s birthday time here at the curate-age. At least we are pretending it is. Number 3 child was born on December 25th 2006, this is a tricky one for any family, but for a clergy family it has added complications. So today is the ‘Birthday’. He is having a small party, lots of pressies (which at least is practice for Thursday) and so on.

As he gets older I guess we’ll give him the choice of what he wants to do. Some people like to celebrate in the summer but to me pretending to have a birthday in six months early or late is pushing it a bit.

Jesus’ birthday of course we celebrate on the boy’s actual day, yet it seems most likely that Christ was born sometime in what we call September.

Does it really matter? I’m not so sure, yet is it is a protestation that is often brought up by those who would rather we forgot the reason for the Christmas season. Along with comments about it being an ‘originally pagan’ festival, or claims that because the Ancient Greeks and Romans also celebrated December 25th as a holy day that this some how undermines the Christian Story and message.

But it doesn’t. Number 3 child was born on Christmas Day, but to all intents and purposes today is his Birthday. We had as grand a day as if we had celebrated on the day itself.

This Christmas we celebrate Christ’s birth, it doesn’t matter that it is probably not on the exact date that the event took place, the important bit is that IT did take place.


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