Thursday, 24 December 2015

A man for one Season

In the middle of summer, kids of all ages still expect a large man dressed for a snow blizzard to visit tonight.  

It's Christmas Eve - and an absolutely perfect day outside. The dewy morning is literally glistening with possibilities - swimming at the river, a bit of casual mowing and, oh yes, I’m working an evening shift tonight.

But that’s OK.  Although I don’t officially stop for a brief holiday until 10pm on Christmas night, my last two shifts of 2015 will be from home -  I’ve walked away from Wellington and commuting for the last time this year.  

I can’t help but feel as if my holiday has begun, after what has been at times the most trying year at work I’ve ever had.  However, my conviction that if I hung on and hoped for the best I’d eventually land on my feet, seems to have worked out.
But enough about me.

With it being the day before Christmas I wanted to mention an extraordinary piece of festive research which I’ve been enjoying recently and would urge anyone who’s interested to explore.
I’ve sang the praises of Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria podcasts before, and over the last week he has  delivered a beyond-comprehensive four-part masterwork looking at the origins and history of the figure who’s  been called St Nicholas, Sinterklaus, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas, but is now mostly known as Santa Claus...

From Turkey in the fourth century AD, to Tudor England, the Victorian era and 1900’s New York this is a truly epic journey through history.  Along the way, the Coca Cola company gets a well-deserved kicking, Krampus’s defamatory PR is amended (as is the reputation of the supposedly dour Victorians) and even Thor’s Dad gets name-checked.  

Jim Moon takes a look at assumptions we’ve always made and turns up fascinating new facts and viewpoints.  Literally years in the making, this is exquisitely researched and in truth may require several revisits to absorb properly.  It’s a good thing Moon is always a pleasure to listen to.

Whatever you want to call him, I hope the jolly gift-giver is generous to you and your families tomorrow, but most of all, that you all have a very Merry Christmas.
(All images copyright Jim Moon)

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