From my Outbox: A quick glance on the evolution of Norwegian Christmas

In this "feature" I present to you e-mails that I have sent-to-all at work. They are mostly about local matters at work, but so damn funny that I know you’ll enjoy them. I sent this out today in the spirit of the season. I’m still expecting my forced resignation any minute now. If you enjoyed this post you might like from 2001.

So it’s that time of year again. It’s called Christmas, and it didn’t come as a surprise to me. I mean, it said so in the calendar "it’s Christmas time now", just like it did last year. So I already knew. And I know for a fact that it’ll be Christmas around this time at least until year 2009, but that’s how far my calendar goes. Any further than that is mere speculation..

In any case, it’s here again, and there’s no denying it. You can try but it’ll only hit you back twice as hard. Many resort to drinking. So what kind of historical events justify this terrible upshot of childhood trauma and financial abuse covered up, as it were, with Santas and Angels and fake plastic trees?

Well. Many believe that the Santas are pagan tributes to Santana, and that the Angels only goes to show how far the infiltration of Hell’s Angels really has gone. But as scientists you will rightfully glance at such information with a raised eyebrow, maybe with a brandy in hand, and hint at your academic background and expertise in areas of expert knowledge so wide that it covers entire bookshelves and really can’t fit into a single glance of the human eye, before you make your counter argument. Whatever it is.

And Christmas is really a whole lot more complicated than biker mobs and a Mexican guitar hero. It’s a concept, not a term, and to attain the conceptual understanding of Christmas with which experts can analyze the public’s irrational behavior when cast under its ominous shadow, you will have to understand the fundamental elements of the concept, all of which stem from particulars or axioms. Here is a general and non-exhaustive list of particulars, most of which are historical events:

  1. Creation and Expiration date (presupposes existence) 
  2. Vikings (Germanic agricultural people who surpassed and/or integrated the stone age hunter-gatherers "right after" the last ice age) 
  3. God Almighty’s Jesus H. Christ (triangular divinity) 
  4. Philosophers Augustin and Thomas de Aquino (couple of chumps) 
  5. The bloody Romans (possible source of the Norwegian nisse-tradition) 
  6. Paranormal reindeer morphology 
  7. Questionable audio entertainment 

..And many more, most of which are still debated.

There are written many reports on Christmas, a search on for the keyword "Christmas" alone yields 4093 results, so I will of course not delve into all the specific details. I reckon there are several PhDs coming on the subject too, some from [our institute] as well judging by the look of it. Instead I thought I’d sketch a general outline based on some of the points above.

Winter started due to climatic changes in the atmosphere several thousand years ago, and is distinctly known to seemingly cancel out the heating effect of the Gulf stream. The change of climate caused the pre-Norwegian caribou to flee the steppes of France, with a bunch of pre-Norwegian Frenchmen on their tails. Not that reindeer have much tail to chase, but you get the picture.

Skip a few thousand years and you’re in the so-called Viking era. They have still not found a way to preserve all the great bounty we collect from our fruitful country, but they’ve found out about speed boats which can go just as fast in rivers as in open sea and land just about anywhere. This technology granted us the grace of raping and pillaging. From what we raped and pillaged not everything could be stored over the winter without a considerable decline of quality, so mid-winters we made a great party (no. julebord) and simply threw the rest away (no. vinterblot).
«Are you just throwing that away?» «Nah, it’s to the gods.»
That’s the origin of Jul.

Half a thousand years before this though, a baby was born under terrible living conditions in Bethlehem and received presents from three Iranian astronomers. The baby was so happy about the cash and perfumes that angels appeared to a flock of sheep somewhere. Unemployed and kind of Aryan looking, Jesus H. Christ rose a non-violent uproar against the Romans who had deforested most of Palestine, and was crucified after a charade of a trial that the Romans themselves would have nothing to do with. Just like the case of Che Guevara, most people knew about Jesus, and for some he became a suitable icon for a mono-theistic and anti-Roman worldview. T-Shirts flourished.
That’s the origin of Jesus-mas.

Thanks to a couple of Christian philosophers in doubt about the skeptical arguments from new-Platonists regarding human knowledge, Aristotle was re-furbished into Coptic faith, which gave us Catholicism and 50% income tax in December. Later on the time of violent conflicts between Viking warlords was ended due to the double edged sword of idealist faith and politics. Hence Christianity was introduced under Olav the Holy’s banner; Do or die. Along with pagans, gypsies and the Sami people, pagan _tradition and culture_ had to change and a symbiosis akin to Jamaica’s Rastafarianism sprung up and took root. The comparison holds if you switch Marihuana with potatoes.
That’s the synthesis: Christmas.

But there are modern events too that sculptured the holiday we know today. In the 1980s American oil experts made Norway into one of the world’s tightest moneybags. A country full of dimwits had turned into a country full of very rich dimwits, and the red-blue scale of politics soon tipped to the right, which resulted in even more presents. I can still remember the first battery-powered racetrack that my father brought home for Christmas, and that we occasionally were allowed to use as well. In order to keep up with higher demands Santa Claus – a Byzantine Saint and sovereign ruler of the North Pole financed by The Coca Cola Company – allegedly fed his flying reindeer with "pure snow". To this day Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer stands as an ominous icon of international drug trafficking with active arrest warrants in four of five continents.

To distance themselves from American imperialism, Norway’s socio-democratic government added some of Santa Claus’s voluptuous traits to the Norwegian Nisse, a mythical protector and jokester of old Norse farms believed to have originated from Roman ancestor worshipping; and the angels fell from their extra-terrestrial, holy positions only to become his bitches. A similar degradation can be found in Russian’s Father Christmas, who are now accompanied by an entire group of young women where it originally was only one homeless girl of good heart. From 2007 however, the angels have become a trademark of a derelict renegade of the Royal House who’s pimping them for what they’re worth. But apparently they still sing Christmas carols in her head all around the year.

Apart from the traditional food and all the trimmings (which are actively debated every single year), the Christmas Tree is the only thing not tainted by the violent history of our ancestors and inspirators. Where it stands tall and erect in all children’s homes it still serves as an ancient representation of the virile manhood and potent fertility that brought us where we are today, in most basic natural terms. So when you climb up the stepladder to put that shining star on the head of the sex symbol, and your offspring’s’ eyes glitter with innocent joy; remember that whatever your general media would like you to believe, or what the priests says in church, or what your grandmother tells you when she’s been sucking on the egg liqueur, that science proves them all wrong.

Christmas is about food, survival and fornication. Like any other day of the year, really. You just happen to have a strategic advantage. And this is truly the gift of science in true Christmas spirit! ..Then again, if you have a fake plastic tree, you’re practically worshipping a dildo.

In any case, have a great X-mas!

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