Last year, I got my head bit off by an angry woman in a store parking lot because after she so kindly gave me directions to a street that I had been trying to find for well over an hour, I wished her "Happy Holidays!"
"Happy Holidays? It's Christmas! Why do 'you people' have to remove Christ from Christmas? He's the reason for the season!"
I've learned my lesson, as most trailer park girls have to, and this year I will keep 'Christ' in Christmas and 'Hanne' in Hanukhah and 'Kwan' in Kwanza and "Ram" in Ramadan and 'Solis' in Solstice.
This whole ordeal got my modular home wheels turning and I did some research...
It sounds like a plot that Dan Brown might have dreamed up: Christianity has nebulous but symbiotic roots in an underground pagan religion and the figure of Jesus himself was modelled on a pagan god worshipped by the Romans named Mithras.
*Some scholars have suggested that Mithras was born on the 25 of December, although this is more speculation than fact. Of course that's famously Jesus's birth date too, ("You people need to keep 'Christ' in Christmas!") but there is no evidence to prove that Jesus was born on that day either. It's more likely that the celebration of these religious birthdays was assigned to a date that was already a winter festival celebrated by the pagan population at that time.
*Both Mithras and Jesus were born of virgins. This is slightly problematic because a more widely-accepted legend has it that Mithras was born as a fully grown adult and emerged from a rock. If it's possible for a rock to be virginal, and I think it is, then we could say that this is a similarity.
*Banqueting was also a central part of Mithraism. Eating implements, animal bones and cherry pips are often found in Mithraea. The Last Supper is probably the biggest banguet ever written about, except perhaps the bbq's that happen annually under space 5's carport.
*There are examples of Mithraea underneath Christian churches in Rome.
*The idea of salvation also existed in Mithraism. On the Mithraeum underneath the church of Santa Prisca on the Aventine hill in Rome, there is some lettering that reads: “et nos servasti . . . sanguine fuso (and you have saved us ... in the blood that has been shed).
I am hesitant to say "Happy Holidays" here at the trailer park, let alone, "Merry Mithras."
It's seems cruel and unreasonable to ask folks to re-think the whole idea of Christ being born on December 25th...which might lead to the whole issue of the Wise Men and then of course the debate involving Santa Claus himself.
Happiness is a trailer park paved in faith. A homestead where we can be thankful for the season, the stockings tacked on the fake wood paneling, the honey-glazed hams, the Walmart bargains.
Space 11 places in nativity scene in her bay-window religiously each year, and all the figurines are Caucasian...
Well, I won't even go there!
Merry Mithras to each of you!