Christmas Links #12

10 of the strangest: Messiahs
"As Christmas approaches, let’s focus on Handel’s famous oratorio and some of the weirder approaches to the Hallelujah Chorus. If you like your Handel with added psychedelic trance, LED lights and electric guitars, you’re in the right place"

Jewish angels and Roman gods: The ancient mythological origins of Christmas:
"Many Americans have heard that December 25 was a birthday of Roman gods long before it was chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Some people also know that our delightful mélange of Christmas festivities originated in ancient Norse, Roman and Druid traditions – or, in the case of Rudolph, on Madison Avenue. But where does the Christmas story itself come from: Jesus in the manger, the angels and wise men?"

Here’s why thoughtful Christmas gifts are the WORST gifts:
"In the coming weeks, millions of people will buy gifts for loved ones. Which is great—except that tons of those people will make the same glaring mistake, and buy the wrong gift. Roughly 10 percent of gifts are returned each year—and the percentage of unwanted gifts is surely higher given that nice people may not want to return presents."

Christmas parties: a survival guide:
"Parties – how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. There’s the dressing up for them. There’s the getting to them. There’s the being at them. The getting back from them. The meeting of strangers. Or people you know. There’s the not being at home. There are an awful lot of things."

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