A Little Humor for Your Day – Twas the night before crisis

Twas the night before crisis

Twas the night before crisis,
And all through the house,
Not a program was working,
Not even a browse.

Programmers were wrung out,
Too mindless to care,
Knowing chances of cutover
Hadn’t a prayer.

The users were nestled
All snug in their beds,
While visions of inquiries
Danced in their heads.

When out in the lobby
There arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my tube
To see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a Super Programmer,
Oblivious to fear.

More rapid than eagles,
His programs they came
And he whistled and shouted
And called them by name.

On Update! On Add!
On Inquiry! On Delete!
On Batch Jobs! On Closing!
On Functions Complete!

His eyes were glazed over,
His fingers were lean,
From weekends and nights
Spent in front of a screen.

A wink of his eye,
And a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know
I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
Turning specs into code,
Then he turned with a jerk.

And laying his fingers
Upon the ENTER key,
The system came up,
And worked perfectly!

The updates updated;
The deletes they deleted;
The inquiries inquired;
And the closing completed.

He tested each whistle,
He tested each bell,
With nary an abend,
And all had gone well.

The system was finished,
The tests were concluded,
The client’s last changes
Were even included!

And the client exclaimed,
With a snarl and a taunt,
“It’s just what I asked for,
But it’s not what I want!”

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Good Monday Morning, My Dear Brothers & Sisters of the Craft!

Good Monday Morning, my dear, dear friends! It is a glorious day to be alive. Let there be joy and happiness in all of our hearts for the Holidays are here.

 

I believe Pagans are the luckiest bunch of people on this planet. We can have it all. Our holidays started with Yule and continue on to the New Year. If you are Solitaries, you can pick the best and leave the rest.

 

So if you are celebrating the season of  Christmas, I would wish you a very joyous and merry Christmas and leave you with this wonderful tale….. 

 

One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th century.

Though its author is disputed, with the poem being

attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. over the years, it was definitely first published on Dec. 23, 1823 in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York.

It is also referred to as “A Visit From St. Nicholas” or “The Night Before Christmas.”

Below are the original lyrics to the poem:

1 ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
2 Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
3 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
4 In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
5 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
6 While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
7 And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
8 Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap-
9 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
10 I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
11 Away to the window I flew like a flash,
12 Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
13 The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
14 Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
15 When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
16 But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
17 With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
18 I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
19 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
20 And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
21 “Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
22 “On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
23 “To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
24 “Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
25 As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
26 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
27 So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
28 With the sleigh full of Toys – and St. Nicholas too:
29 And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
30 The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
31 As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
32 Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
33 He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
34 And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
35 A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
36 And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
37 His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
38 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
39 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
40 And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
41 The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
42 And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
43 He had a broad face, and a little round belly
44 That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
45 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
46 And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
47 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
48 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
49 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
50 And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
51 And laying his finger aside of his nose
52 And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
53 He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
54 And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
55 But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
56 Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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Secular Santa Claus is Coming to Town: What’s so Christian about Santa Claus?

Secular Santa Claus is Coming to Town: What’s so Christian about Santa Claus?

By Austin Cline

Santa Claus as a Symbol of Modern Christmas:
Christians treat Christmas as a Christian holiday, and it certainly started out that way, but we can tell a lot about the real nature of holidays by how they are represented in popular culture. The most common, popular, and recognized symbol for Christmas today isn’t an infant Jesus or even a manger scene, but Santa Claus. It’s Santa who graces all the ads and decorations, not Jesus. Santa Claus is not, however, a religious figure or symbol — Santa is an amalgam of a little bit of Christianity, a little bit of pre-Christian paganism, and a whole lot of modern, secular myth-making.
 
Santa Claus, Christian Saint?:
Most assume that the Santa Claus of modern Christmas is based on a Saint Nicholas in Christianity, but any connection is tenuous at best. There was Nicholas who was bishop of Myra in the early 4th century and who stood up to anti-Christian persecution, but there’s no evidence that he died for refusing to renounce his faith. Legend has it that he did good works with his family’s fortune and he became a much-loved figure in most European cultures. Over time, he was given attributes of pagan figures who were popular during winter festivals.
 
Washington Irving and the Invention of Saint Nick:
It is argued by some that the modern Santa Claus was basically invented by Washington Irving who, in a satirical history of New York, described alleged Dutch beliefs about Sinter Claes, or Saint Nicholas. Most readers accepted Irving’s descriptions as fact and helped people to eventually adopt many of the beliefs and traditions attributed to the Dutch, though not during Irving’s lifetime.
 
Clement Moore and Saint Nicholas:
Most contemporary ideas about what Santa Claus does and looks like are based on the poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore. That has two things wrong: it’s original title was A Visit from Saint Nicholas, and it’s unlikely the Moore really wrote it. Moore claimed authorship in 1844, but it first appeared anonymously in 1823; explanations for how and why this happened are implausible. Some of this poem borrows from Washington Irving, some parallels Nordic and Germanic myths, and some may be original. This Santa Claus is completely secular: there’s not a single religious reference or symbol to be found.
 
Thomas Nast and the Popular Image of Santa Claus:
The poem attributed to Moore may be the basis for current conceptions of Santa Claus, but Thomas Nast’s drawings of Santa Claus during the latter half of the 19th century are what engraved a standard image of Santa Claus into everyone’s mind. Nast also added to the Santa character by having him read children’s letters, monitor children’s behavior, and record children’s names in books of Good and Bad behavior. Nast also seems to be the person who located Santa Claus and a workshop for toys a the North Pole. Although Santa here is smaller, like an elf, the image of Santa is basically fixed at this point.
 
Francis Church, Virginia, and Santa Claus as an Object of Faith:
In addition to Santa’s visual appearance, his character also had to be created. The most important source for this may be Francis Church and his infamous response to a letter from a little girl named Virginia who wondered if Santa really exists. Church said that Santa exists, but as everything but a real person. Church is the source of the idea that Santa is somehow the “spirit” of Christmas, such that not believing in Santa is the same as not believing in love and generosity. Not believing in Santa is treated like kicking puppies for fun.
 
What’s so Christian about Santa Claus?:
There’s little to nothing about Santa Claus that is either uniquely Christian or broadly religious. There are certainly a few religious elements to Santa, but he can’t be treated as a specifically religious figure. Almost everything that people today understand as part of the Santa Claus myth was invested in this figure fairly recently and, it appears, for entirely secular reasons. No one took a beloved religious icon and secularized it; Santa Claus as a Christmas figure has always been relatively secular, and this has only intensified over time.Because Santa is the central figure for Christmas in modern America, his basically secular nature says something important about Christmas itself. How can Christmas be essentially Christian when the leading symbol of Christmas is essentially secular? The answer is that it can’t — while Christmas may be a religious holy day for many observant Christians, the Christmas holiday in the broader American culture isn’t religious at all. Christmas in American culture is as secular as Santa Claus: it has some Christian elements and some pre-Christian pagan elements, but most of what makes up Christmas today was created recently and is basically secular.

The question of “what’s so Christian about Santa Claus?” is a stand-in for the larger question of “what’s so Christian about Christmas in modern America?” The answer to the first helps us answer the second, and it’s not an answer which many Christians will be pleased with. Not liking the situation won’t change anything, though, so what can Christians do? The obvious route to take is to replace secular observances of Christmas with religious ones.

So long as Christians continue to focus on Santa Claus coming to town to deliver gifts rather than on the birth of their savior, they will remain part of what they see as the problem. Dispensing with, or even just limiting, the role of Santa Claus and other secular elements of Christmas probably won’t be easy, but that only demonstrates just how deeply enmeshed in secular culture Christians have become. It also reveals just how much of their own religious Christmas they have abandoned in favor of secular celebrations. In effect, the harder it is the more this shows that they need to do it if they want to claim that Christmas is religious rather than secular.

In the meantime, the rest of us can enjoy Christmas as a secular holiday if we want.