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Each month during 2019, we've published articles of a technical nature in the hope that our readers will find them useful.  I've tried to make these completely non-sales-based.

I thought for a change, as we're all thinking about holidays,  we'd think about the Season.  So this month we're looking at Xmas/Christmas.

Now I'm well aware that people range from no religion to deep faith and that's just fine by me.  But here's some factoids that may be of interest.
St Nic St Nicolas is thought to be the origin of Santa Claus.  He's known to have existed in Greece around AD 300 and that he was renowned for his good works and acts of charity.
Certainly he was a Christian Bishop, but like the celebration itself, one can look at him as a symbol of kindness whether secular or Christian.
It's fairly well known that the Winter Solstice was 'borrowed' by Christianity as a celebratory date for the birth of Jesus and it's most unlikely that December 25 would have been the actual date of Jesus' birth as traditionally we think of "Shepherds watched their flock by night" and that would be extremely unlikely in the mid-winter of the Middle-East. StonehengeSunrise1980s
a4e89e735196e02b2bb46061a67a8157 Here in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is a mid-summer festival.  So many of icons of Xmas from the Northern Hemisphere, make little sense here.  The roaring Yule-log, warm eggnog and sleigh rides make little sense at 28 ℃, but if Kiwis are anything, we're adaptable! I listened to a favourite song the other day from the Northern hemisphere and realised that there Xmas is seen as the peak of winter and the promise of spring to come.  "Green the whole year round"

But the summer fades and the days grow short
And the autumn winds they blow
And the leaves of gold come tumbling down
To the forest far below
Memories of other days come tumbling from the past
To remind us, like the seasons do
That life goes by so fast
The winter lays her fingers cold
On dark and lonely nights
But Christmas it will soon be here
To usher in the light
And when morning breaks and the bells ring out
It is such a joyous sound
To hear them echo in the trees
That are green the whole year 'round
Now if you are a person of faith, you may not be aware that the term Xmas is not purely secular as one might imagine.  X is the symbol for the Greek work Christós, which in English, translates as "Christ".  So IMHO it's a perfectly acceptable term for everyone or any of no religion.   255px-Chirho

In any case, whatever you believe, Christmas is a time for unity and peace and family.  And from the Homersham family to yours, we'd like to wish all of you; secular and religious to live the spirit of the Season - community, fellowship and oneness.
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