The pagan origins of Christmas don’t bother most people. They think of it as simply the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Some folks don’t think that Jesus Christ was born in December on Christmas Day any more than they think that the winter solstice was related to his birth. After all, the shepherds were in the fields. (Meaning: Shepherds are not out tending sheep in the wintertime. )
We Mormons, who know just everything, know that Christ was born on April 6, the day we hold our General Conference.
Anyway, Mysterious Wise Men—who were promoted to kings and given names in the Middle Ages—delivered gifts to the Christ Child. Learn about the Wise Men at: http://www.royalty. nu/history/religion/Magi.html
The Bible doesn’t say how many Wise Men there were, but the Middle Age folks could only think of three good names. The names given were Balthasar, Gaspar (or Casper), and Melchior.
I think a good fourth name would have been Fraunalon. According to Google®, that name has not been taken.
A town in Wyoming was named after either Gaspar (Casper) or someone else.
Actually it was named after Fort Casper which was named for Lieutenant Casper W. Collins. (Fort Collins already existed in Colorado and was named after Lt. Collins’ father, William Collins. ") See: http://www.rootsweb.com/~wynatron/HistoricalPlaces.htm
Casper has a gay mayor who is not Vice President Cheney’s mysteriously pregnant daughter. Dick Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska but he grew up in Casper. Read about Casper at: http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Casper, _Wyoming
Like I said, Casper Wyoming was not named after one of the Wise Men no matter what anyone else tells you.
I think that it would be a nice Wise-Men jester to rename the Tri Cities in the state of Washington’s Wine Country. Kennewick, Pasco and Richland would become Balthasar, Gaspar (or Casper), and Melchior. See: http://www.visittri-ci/
(I preferred to use the Quad Cities. If only the Middle Age name-givers had added Fraunalon. )
Kennewick means Winter Haven and is the home of the famous 9200 year-old Kennewick Man, the deceased friend of my good friend, Big Foot. See the movie at: http://www.kennewick-man.com/
The Wise Men bestowed expensive gifts on the Child that hardly needed them: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There is no record as to what happened to these gifts. Maybe Mary and Joseph donated them to the Temple Priest and took it as an income tax deduction.
Omani frankincense is best so I suppose that is what the Wise Men brought. See: http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense
As for myrrh, it was priced by the Romans as five times more costly than frankincense and more precious than gold. The word means “bitter" according to: http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh
The carat or karat of the gold would have been 24, no doubt. Gold less than 10 carat can not be sold as “gold" in the United States and I doubt that it would have passed at Bethlehem. See: http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Carat
So, the Wise Men gave fine gifts and that is what we do too at Christmas time. I think it is one heck of a good idea if we don’t go into debt up to our necks and suffer the rest of the year.
(What you already did that this year? Created a huge debt? Well it is good for the economy and all those greedy bankers who charge exorbitant interest rates on credit card charges. Just remember not to do it again next year. )
When giving, remember the Christ Child that promises the greatest gift of all.
Merry Christmas from Taylor Jones, the hack writer!
Copyright©2006 John Taylor Jones, Ph. D.
John T. Jones, Ph. D. (firstname.lastname@example.org, a retired VP of R&D for Lenox China, is author of detective & western novels, nonfiction (business, scientific, engineering, humor), poetry, etc. Former editor of Ceramic Industry Magazine. He is Executive Representative of IWS sellers of Tyler Hicks wealth-success books and kits. He also sells TopFlight flagpoles. He calls himself “Taylor Jones, the hack writer. "
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