Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Fun Facts!

The following bit of brilliance comes from the pen of my swell pal, Cricket. He really is amazing. Not only is he a fantastic writer, but he's also a tremendous whimsical cartoonist. In addition, he plays a mean guitar. All of these things I envy greatly. I mean, sure, I write, I play bass, I draw (a check each week) but I think he outshines me in every one of those endeavors. I'm seriously thinking of having him bumped off.

In the meantime, check this out. Click to enlarge, of course.

This cartoon is especially meaningful to me and MY WIFE. We've been exchanging gifts on Epiphany (or 'Little Christmas', as it's known in some circles) for many years now. It really is a way to make the whole season a bit less stressful, allowing us to concentrate our December 25th energies toward making other folk's celebrations brighter and more meaningful, while not shortchanging our own spiritual enjoyment. You might like to give some thought to doing something similar. As Cricket notes, it's a decent blow to strike for making the holiday of Christmas less of a greedfest and more of what it may need to be for your pleasure to be maximized.

Anyway, I love this cartoon. And you should go visit the artist NOW. His words are, if anything, even better. You'll want to read them while there's still time to do so. Once he figures out how to put some of his guitar playing on the web, I'll be viciously jealous and sending out the hitmen.

Soon, with more stuff.


Marian Dean said...

Amazing cartoon drawings, and a slant on the Christmas story to boot!
I have checked the Cricket out and he writes a good post.
Joy to the World!

Love Granny

Michelle H. said...

A great cartoon and wonderful message!

Shammickite said...

hey Sully, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cartoon. When I was a child in England, we always celebrated 6 Jan as Twelfth Night and that was the day that all the Christmas decorations came down, and Christmas was officialy over for another year.
And I couldn't agree more about that wonderful carving on my blog! It's gorgeous.

Saz said...

That really cool! I love it!! love the traditions around this time of year!!

Ananda girl said...

Great post Suldog! Cricket never fails to impress me. I'm on my way over there now. BTW I'm all for my "pleasure to be maximized".
(Sorry... this is YOUR blog and I could not resist.)

Eddie Bluelights said...

Great cartoon and will pop over and see this guy, Cricket, he is obviously very talented.

Just to throw a spanner in the works slightly concerning the birthday of Jesus.

It has been proved his birthday was on 19 October 1 BC. I have a wonderful Chronology set of tapes covering this and other remarkable events.

I love your remark about having him 'bumped off' because of the competition.

I am posting a funny 'santa' thing soon (we call him Father Christmas for some reason unknown to me) ~ Eddie

George said...

Hahaha! Great cartoon! I'll go check him out.

Thumbelina said...

Great cartoon.
If you look in the bible it is surprising what ISN'T there regarding christmas/birth of Jesus etc. Just one of the reasons I don't celebrate it but am still christian!
Eddie is nearer the mark - although the actual date (1st/19th/6th) isn't "proved", October is nearer the mark and it is proved it is late Sept/early Oct [although it is 2 BCE (which is also proven) because remember, there is no "Year 0" so we go straight from 1 BCE to 1 CE; Jesus was actually born in October 2 years before the common era, or what is actually one and a quarter years before the common era...] - At the time, shepherds were in their fields. In December it would be far too cold (a further evidence that it was earlier in the year.)

As for the "three wise men" - there is nowhere in the bible that it says there are three and they are what today would be called "astrologers". No one else (apparently) sees the star (Herod has to ask the astrologers, the shepherds don't mention it, it doesn't seem to bother Joseph and Mary...or the rest of Bethlehem for that matter...) only the "wise men" or astrologers see it (wonder who put it there then since they [unwittingly] alerted enemies of Jesus...?) and they visited the CHILD in a HOUSE (Matt 2:10 - the only gospel that mentions them) so he was grown some by the time they visited him.
Just an aside. ;0)

How's that for parentheses? Not bad eh?

Bravo for you and YOUR WIFE for breaking with the world wide tradition! (Well, mostly world wide.)

Jackie said...

I am very thankful you included the link to Cricket's blog. I went there...and it is amazing...a picture with words that I hadn't thought of....and one I won't forget. He is a very talented artist as well. Thank you Jim...for sharing.
Hugs from Jackie

Desmond Jones said...

Good stuff, Suldog. Thanks.

I always want to tear my hair out a little bit, when I run into someone who wants to start in on the Twelve Days of Christmas on Dec 13th ('cuz Christmas is the 25th, and you just count backwards, right?). Of course, it never particularly occurred to me, either, that the Twelve Days spanned the time from Christmas to Epiphany, until it was pointed out to me at a way-too-advanced age (I don't remember exactly when, but I was married at the time). . . We use it to get a little breathing space to send our cards out after the commercial feeding-frenzy is over (and you can get cards for real cheap after the 25th. . .)

I've seen Jesus' birth dated anywhere from 8BC to 4BC, with 6BC being probably the most common. I've also seen the October date (something to do with the Jewish feast of Sukkoth, but I forget exactly how). . . But of course, the date is less important than that it all happened - God became Man, Emmanuel, God-With-Us.

Or, you know, as Joan Osborne put it, What if God was One of Us?

Buck said...

Well, if you don't bump Cricket off... I might. Multi-talented guys like him have NO right to exist in my world, seeing as how they make me look so mundane and pedestrian. And I hate walking...

The Second Mrs. Pennington... good Catholic Girl that she WAS (at the time)... introduced me to Little Christmas. Epiphany became a special day for us, as well. It's a wonderful tradition.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

In my mind Christmas is Christmas and may be celebrated whenever, though it's probably best to do so when it coincides with others. The longer we celebrate it... the true meaning that is... there better off everyone is.
I really like the idea of Little Christmas because it gives a few more days to get the cards sent out.
It seems that some in our family compete to be first. I think that it is a bigger challenge to be the very last. said...

We haven't exchanged gifts in years...focus on grandkids...we are fine with it.

Woman in a Window said...

I've always envied you wise men. You got it right. Love the stick dudes.

And suldog, i have to thank you. You've been terribly supportive of me. I've noticed and I am grateful. Have a happy holiday...just in case you don't post before~


Cricket said...

Why do I keep thinking of the opening scene of the Ringo Starr film Caveman? One zillion B.C. - October 9th.

Anyways, as the cartoon itself says, it deals with the common tradition, not the Gospels. Still, a couple of thoughts:

Whatever is or is not known about Jesus, it is certain that King Herod joined the majority in 4 B.C. So, if he did in fact order the Massacre of the Innocents, he would have done it before then. His reputed order to kill all male children 2 and younger is the basis of the date 6 B.C.

If he did not do this, we have the new problem of denying a portion of the Gospels. Something lots of people do not want to do. Yikes.

One important thing to remember, I think, is that Gospel is a genre. Its object is to evangelize, and it is concerned primarily with spiritual truth, not what we would call history, exactly. That's my understanding of it.

Ericka said...

cricket gives great stick figures! thanks for sharing. :-)

lime said...

i like the idea because honestly i'm all christmased out already.

the trouble is convincing the rest of m y family...

Merisi said...

The cartoon is great, thanks for the link!

In Italy, not so long ago (I remember it), Christmas was a feast for family, filled with food and church. Gifts were brought on the 6th of January, not by some fat old guy, but by the Befana, the Christmas witch (after all, the Kings of the Orient did not arrive earlier!).

Hilary said...

I'm not surprised that Cricket is so multi-talented. Nor am I surprised that you so kindly promote his blog. You're a good friend.

Unknown said...

Matt & I are planning to do a whole lot of traveling Christmas day so this sounds like a fine idea! Funny, its the first time in about 5 years we actually decided to exchange gifts, usually we do just give each other love but for some reason wanted to do something special this year. 1/6/10 it is!

GreenJello said...

I often wondered how a star could point to the Christ child... until the Hale-Bopp Comet came back through town.

At the time, I lived in rural Montana, and was able to drive out in the middle of nowhere, without any lights around for miles.

It sure looked like a pointing "star".