December 23, 2006

C.S. Lewis on ExMas, #1

I have been meaning to post something about the fascinating ways in which CS Lewis wrote about Christmas, but have been too busy with my own shopping, and singing, and website building. Once again, Mr. Patterson, a journalist from Melbourne, Australia has come to the rescue in his excellent essay "Santa Gets Heave-Ho-Ho." ASLaN will delve into these writings in future posts, and at our website, but for now Mr. Patterson gives a worthy introduction to an aspect of Lewis that his estate's marketing team does not wish to promote!

C.S. Lewis wrote a fantasy about Christmas titled Exmas and Crismas.

One of the customs of the Exmas festival was sending cards and gifts.

Every citizen had to guess the value of the gift a friend would send him and send back one of equal value, regardless of whether he could afford it.

On the big day of the festival, the citizens would eat too much and become drunk.

Then they would feel ill and worry about the money they had spent.

There was also a non-commercial festival called Crismas, on the same day as Exmas. A few kept Crismas sacred, but they were greatly distracted by Exmas.

Culturally significant holidays develop both a religious meaning and a secular meaning.

ASLaN will try to get permission from the CS Lewis estate to publish the entire original essays. They are posted illegally online, but we don't wish to break any copyright laws. That is a crime worthy of the (mostly) American creators of the Santa Cult, who copied all the good things from Nicholas, but stripped him of his core -- a preacher and lover of Christ and a servant of men.

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