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[Saturnalia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia) is the ancient Roman Winter Solstice festival for the God Saturn, traditionally celebrated from December 16 to the 23rd. During this time, gambling was temporarily legal, small gifts of poems or symbolic trinkets were traded, and slaves were permitted to eat with their masters. In later Roman history, Emperor Aurelian instated “The Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun” on December 25th to celebrate the birth of his cult God [Sol Invictus](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus), and extending the Saturnalia festival into the new year’s celebrations.
Thousands of years later and we [combined](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus) a few other [obscure](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_decoration) [traditions](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas) with a highly altered history of [Jesus’ Christ of Nazareth’s birth account](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Jesus#Day_of_birth) to create what we now call [Christmas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas).
So next time someone rudely emphasizes what they’re celebrating during these times, just remember they’re actually celebrating a bizarre reverse cargo cult holiday amalgam, and have no idea why. Enjoy the ironic hypocrisy of asserting a holiday with tenuous origins over the alternative, _actually_ historically significant celebrations of [Kwanzaa](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa) and [Hanukkah](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah).
I hope everyone’s having or had a happy holidays, a merry Christmas, a wonderful Hanukkah, a splendid Kwanzaa, or a fabulous Saturnalia! Post your family’s traditions, what you got under your tree, or what you’re having to eat tonight!
We always open presents and have fancy seafood on Christmas Eve, and then have the traditional ham dinner on Christmas itself. We usually spend time with just the three of us that night, and then invite over family friends without families of their own for Christmas day. Last night we had Scallions for the first time ever, but my mother cooked them in something other than a cast iron skillet, so they didn’t brown well enough and were a little spongey: Not that we would know what they’re supposed to taste like! The shrimp was incredibly good though, and shrimp is one of my least favorite seafoods.
> *Originally posted by **[Twilight\_Ninja](/forums/9/topics/317274?page=1#posts-6687712):***
> Way to politicize a nice holiday. I mean, who really cares?
> Merry Christmas anyway.
Well, this nice holiday is already commercialized and industrialized so i guess politicizing it too doesn’t take away much of the left over “magic”. Lol
Quite honestly Christmas is whatever you want to make it. For me it’s being with my family and have a good day eating good foof and playing games. We don’t give presents. It’s a just a nice day to have set aside to remember family.
> *Originally posted by **[FlabbyWoofWoof](/forums/9/topics/317274?page=1#posts-6687754):***
> For me it’s being with my family and have a good day eating good foof and playing games.
Yup. That’s what it is with most people. With leftovers. I declined leftovers because of Weight Watchers but we had stuffing, turkey, cranberry, some assorted pies, etc. I chose the Christmas Eve meal so it was a little more interesting/less traditional—baked Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza, Peach Pie ala mode, and glazed Macadamia nuts. I really had a headache after eating that.
Looks like we got most the gifts. Made a pretty good haul overall. I was gifted with a Back to the Future Blueray trilogy (classic in my opinion), The Dark Knight Rises DVD, some incidentals, and a Costco giftcard I used to buy some clothes and an iPod docking station. Also some giftcards to local places like Starbucks that I plan to put to good use starting tomorrow. :-D
> *Originally posted by **[Twilight\_Ninja](/forums/9/topics/317274?page=1#posts-6688630):***
> I’m in overdraft right now so the gift card couldn’t have come at a better time. At least I’ll get to treat myself without feeling guilty/putting undue stress on the checkbook.
That’s one of my favorite things about Christmas. I won’t buy these things for myself, so when someone gets me a gift card I actually have to spend it on myself.