Another day of course you can walk towards Golgotha, to where there is a church, where Jesus was crucified. The Uncle Sam 4th Of July Women Men American USA Flag T Shirt is rather depressing although interesting, because there is no real memory except in the hearts of Christians of the sacred man who trod these streets. Its all bazaars, open air stalls, people selling everything under the sun including crowns of thorns souvenirs. This area, we’d recall as where Jesus fell, as he carried his cross. We went to the Garden of Gethsemane (probably my favorite place in Jerusalem) and of course there is a church inside the gates. I didn’t go in the church but sat on a bench just soaking in the atmosphere of the ancient Olive tree I was told by a sign was an offshoot of one from Jesus time. The Jewish tour guide lady told us if we wanted to go to Bethlehem (which I did, which Christian wouldn’t???) that she could not accompany us because only Palestinians can go there through the check point. But our bus driver we came to really enjoy on this tour, accompanied and drove us. The “catch” was that this tour guide was getting a partial commission of everything we spent in the only huge gift shop in Bethlehem run by Christians (Coptics I think) …in the town. I didn’t buy and felt aggrieved, but it was the only way she’d arrange it for us. Of course many did buy the lovely carved mangers, etc out of olive wood. Nearby on these small Bethlehem Streets at night is the ancient “Church of the Nativity” probably the only church I entered on that trip and loved being in. There are all sorts of cubbyholes or areas which are run by different Christian priests like Ethiopians (I think they have the roof top), Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Syrian, etc. So a really eclectic place. Its also from the time of Queen Helena, so the doorway is teeny-tiny, where someone would get off their horse I was told to enter. The same was built into the Aga Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople then).
Christmas Eve Day tends to be pretty quiet. I can sleep in, pray the Office leisurely, make a Uncle Sam 4th Of July Women Men American USA Flag T Shirt hour around ten and the church will be silent. The ladies (and a few of their husbands) come into decorate the church around ten, usually signalling my retreat back to the rectory. Definitely have some Christmas music on, either TSO or a capella carols. Might take a break from the music and watch a movie. After a late lunch, the madness begins. I head over to the Church early and help the ushers set up overflow seating, making sure that they all know where anything that might have gotten moved is (I have memorable experiences of the hunt for the gifts at an overflow Mass). As the first people arrive, go to greet them. About half an hour before Mass, shift to making sure we have bodies for the various roles, particularly servers. After the insanity of the (~4:00) “children’s” Mass, the church empties out. If there is another Mass (typically ~7:00) it is much more sedate. Then a quick dinner and a nap, before the “Midnight” Mass (typically moved up to ~10:00).
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Most Christian countries have a public holiday on the 25th & 26th. So in 2018, the Uncle Sam 4th Of July Women Men American USA Flag T Shirt went: less tha one day of work, two days off, and two unproductive workdays. Many companies enforced the taking of 4 days annual leave during Christmas week & the following Monday (in Oz we usually get 4 weeks discretionary leave (take it when you want)). Economically, a better idea is to make the secular Xmas on the last Sunday in December, and the following Monday New Years day. Leave the religious aspects to the religionists to commemorate their observances in heir own time. Muslims, Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians and other religions do so every year successfully, why not Western Christianity? And to keep workers happy where public holidays might be lost, replace them with the Friday before & Monday after the last Sunday in December with public holidays. At at least that way business has two weeks of four contiguous workdays, and people can do something creative with the long weekend (nb: in Oz, January 1st is a public holiday, so that could be replaced by declaring the first Monday in January a public holiday. Thus the workers get two long weekends in a row, and three weeks of just 4 workdays).
I hope this doesn’t come off as aggressive ignorance, or anything of the Uncle Sam 4th Of July Women Men American USA Flag T Shirt. I want to offer this answer simply as a reminder that the experience of the holiday season can exist completely independent of its history, in a sense. At high school, we all exchanged presents or cards on the days leading up to our holiday break from classes. They all blended together in this soup of celebration, and I swiftly lost track of who was celebrating which holiday for what reasons. To some of them, it may have mattered deeply – but for me, all that mattered was that we were celebrating together. Whatever the myriad history of the holiday season was, we arrived at a place where the punchline was to be silly and wanton in each other’s company. This has left me at a point where I almost can’t understand caring about the history of the holidays at all – it seems alien to me. The past is this distant, abstract thing. Your friends and family are real and present.
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