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Everyone knows that Christmas is a holiday that has been wedded to pagan rituals. Our appreciation for the Christmas tree, the Yule log, the singing of carols and some of the carols themselves, all hark to a non-Christian tradition. As far as I am concerned, it makes for a great holiday with song and revelry and, of course, an appreciation for what we have and what we are.

Adaptation is what we, as a species, are all about. That we robustly defend tradition does not mean that change is not inexorable. This is most certainly true for fashion be it clothes or architecture or anything else, and if it is true there, it is true in all aspects of our lives. Eighteenth century English furniture evolved tremendously between 1700 and 1800, from who it was made for, to the materials it was made of, to how it was made and to who made it.

That is just how things change. The pagan rituals were, I believe, a celebration to mark the end of waning daylight. The longest night, particularly in Northern Europe, makes for a very short day, and without electric light, it must have been extremely depressing. If I had lived then, I would have been ecstatic that the days were getting longer, winter notwithstanding, and I would celebrate the fact heartily. Even now, I have to admit to being glad that the shortest day will soon be over.

Time for a New Year.