An excerpt from my book Sarvice Mountain:
Joe was on a roll. “Think about what happens around Christmas. The days quit getting shorter and start getting longer. The so-called pagans celebrated the hope of more sunshine and since the Christians were just recently pagans they continued to celebrate the winter solstice, the winter sun stop, and tucked the little baby Jesus right in there.”
“But why is Christmas on the twenty-fifth, isn’t the shortest day of the year a couple of days before that?” Junior asked the swarthy pagan.
“Well I figure the Christian bosses offered the twenty-fifth as a counter celebration kind of like the Soviet Union substituted a New Year celebration for Christmas. Or maybe the Pagans waited a few days after the shortest day of the year to make sure it was really happening. To make sure there was still hope. Maybe the twenty-fifth was their day too. They probably partied for a week or two and the exact day didn’t matter too much. Can you imagine? Early in human history they had no way of knowing for sure that the days weren’t just going to keep on getting shorter and shorter until all they had was darkness.”
The first day must have been a wonder—-Nobody knew what came next or how long it was to last.—-Everybody cried at Sunset the first time—- And waited up all night to see if day was coming back. by Ivan Norton Hunter
Ivan Norton Hunter
“Man” Was Junior’s most consistent remark, almost in a whisper, with his mouth hanging open, his eyes wide, full of wonder like the first time he saw the northern lights or a jet fighter catapult off Storm Thurmond.
“When they decided that they were going to be saved from the shortening days, then my friend, they threw one of the biggest parties you ever saw. They had big feasts, invited all their friends, ate pigs and like pigs, got drunker than hoot owls, beat drums like crazy, danced to a frenzy and fucked anything that moved.”