Listening to They Might Be Giants and cleaning up my own Pit Of Chaos from my living room floor right now. Merry December 27th.
Happy Boxing Day!!!
Our Christmas was rather low key, but nice. Spent it with my husband’s family mostly, and were fed and gifted well. Needless to say, all day my girls bounced off the walls in manic rapturous joy. In fine Day After Christmas tradition,Chaos does ensue. There are toys scattered to the four winds, Maggie is wrestling with her dog (telling him “Well, Danny, maybe you’re a bad dog and maybe you’re a good dog, and maybe you’re a bad dog and maybe you’re a good dog…yeah, I love you,Danny…”) and Sarah is eating the first and last Oreo she will have for quite some time. It is now time for the traditional Ordering Of The Boxing Day Pizza and the Drinking Of Caffeine. I shall need fuel in order to clean up this mess and I still have some post Christmas gifts to make for the game night people. Cthulu Christmas Cards if I can get my printer to work. Otherwise, CD mixes for all. In light of this most stressful of holiday seasons, I am reminded of the year my sister announced she was celebrating Kwanzaa instead of Christmas, because it starts the day after Christmas and you make your own presents and she was feeling kind of cheap that year. My sister used to be really funny, but she’s gotten kind of staid and conservative at the ripe old age of 25. May I never grow old, says the pigtailed thirty year old who’s eating chocolate for breakfast. Even if I keep getting lumps of coal in my stocking. I shite you not, there were lumps of coal, well candy lumps of coal, anyway. But, alas, I have much to do today besides update my blog and watch the Care Bear Excercise video for the hundreth time this morning.
In the meantime, to assist in your post holiday letdown, here’s some McSweeneys links to brighten your rainy day:
Merry Chrismas from Marauder’s Girl and family!!!!!!!!!!!
“Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.”
You’re probably familiar with this old Christmas carol. But did you know that Wenceslas was a real person? He was born into the royal Premysl or Przemyslid dynasty of Bohemia (located in what is now the Czech Republic).
According to legend, the original Premysl was a plowman who married a Bohemian princess named Libuse or Libussa during the 8th century. Their descendants eventually united the warring tribes of Bohemia into one duchy. The first known Premysl ruler was Wenceslas’s grandfather, Duke Borivoy I, who made Prague Castle the family seat. He married a Slav princess named Ludmila, and both eventually became Christians. Borivoy and Ludmila tried to convert all of Bohemia to Christianity, but failed. When Borivoy died he was succeeded by his sons, Ratislav and Spythinev. Ratislav was Wenceslas’s father.
Wenceslas was born around 907 in the castle of Stochov near Prague. The castle is gone now, but there is still an oak tree there that was supposedly planted by Ludmila when Wenceslas was born. His nannies watered the tree with his bath water, which supposedly made the tree strong. The church Wenceslas attended also exists today.
At first Wenceslas was raised by his grandmother, Ludmila. Then, when he was about 13 years old, his father died. Wenceslas succeeded him as duke. But because he was too young to rule, his mother, Drahomira, became regent. Drahomira was opposed to Christianity and used her new power to persecute followers of the religion. She refused to let Wenceslas see Ludmila because she was afraid they would scheme to overthrow her. Not long after Ratislav’s death, Ludmila was murdered at Tetin Castle — strangled, it is said, at Drahomira’s command. After her death Ludmila was revered as a saint.
But the loss of his grandmother did not stop Wenceslas from seizing power. At the age of 18 he overthrew his mother’s regency, just as she had feared, and began to rule for himself. A stern but fair monarch, he stopped the persecution of priests and tamed the rebellious nobility. He was known for his kindness to the poor, as depicted in later verses of the carol. He was especially charitable to children, helping young orphans and slaves.
Many of the Bohemian nobles resented Wenceslas’s attempts to spread Christianity, and were displeased when he swore allegiance to the king of Germany, Henry I. The duke’s most deadly enemy proved to be his own brother, Boleslav, who joined the nobles who were plotting his brother’s assassination. He invited Wenceslas to a religious festival and then attacked him on his way to mass. As the two were struggling, Boleslav’s supporters jumped in and murdered Wenceslas.
“Good King” Wenceslas died on September 20, 929. He was in his early twenties and had ruled Bohemia for five years. Today he is remembered as the patron saint of the Czech Republic.
The words to the carol “Good King Wenceslas” were written by John Mason Neale and first published in 1853. The music is from a 13th century song called “Tempus Adest Floridum,” or “Spring Has Unwrapped Her Flowers.” The music was first published in written form in Finland in 1582 as part of a collection of songs called Piae Cantiones. It is also used for another carol, “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child.” And in case you’re wondering, the Feast of Stephen is celebrated on December 26 — the day after Christmas.
This article was first published at Suite101.com.
� Copyright 2001-2003 by Cinderella.
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Aaarrggh!!! I’d written a post and tried to post a link to a website that counted down the days until Christmas and was gunned down by a flash animation and loud musical rendition of electronic Jingle Bells. Ovewhelmed my browser. Won’t share the link as I have no desire to share the agony…
Wanted to mention that it’s International Buy Nothing Day and to add the caveat that local businesses and jewelry sellers in the mall, for example don’t count as evil corporate entities, so by all means, buy from such merchants as they:)
Other then that, all you’ve missed was a pastry recipe and tales of maternal guilt, which I shall expound on at a later date.
Peace out. Or whatever. Hope you had a happy holiday.