Someone please remind me why we buy a bunch of useless crap for people each year at this time?!?! I wish I could be ignorant sometimes. Like to be oblivious to not only all the previous crap from last year that people will be filling landfills with to make use of this years new crap, but also all the trees that were needed to create the miles of wrapping paper needed to wrap all this crap up in order to present some symbiotic emotional high for gift-giver and receiver.
I did recently come across some interesting information concerning the real reason for the season. Apparently way back during the ancient Egyptian civilization the observers of the sky began to correlate the Winter Solstice with another occasion that has had lasting effects upon our own civilization:
The shortest day of the year each time around is the Winter Solstice. Most of us know this to be true as it is the point in the Earth’s orbit in which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the the life-giving rays of the sun. Now it just so happens that around this time Sirius, the brightest star in the eastern night sky, became perfectly aligned with the three stars that comprise the belt of the constellation Orion. Furthermore, Sirius and these three stars of the belt, historically referred to as the Three Kings, in line all pointed to the location on the eastern horizon to where the sun was born the following morning. This sun was said to be the saviour because in the preceding months up until the Summer Solstice light would shine longer eventually bringing warmer temperatures and the essential growing season. With no other forms of entertainment such as gift unwrapping or football, this occasion was as epic as they came for the ancient civilization. So epic that myths were ingrained into cultures long before any myth of a virign, baby, and three wise men ever began to be told.
Believe or not.