Really sorry to bother you, but I’m one of those unlucky kids who has a birthday on December 25th. I’m wondering if you could change that for me please? Thing is, Christmas is kind of a big deal for my Dad and his gang. I try to do good wherever I can.
Thanks in advance,
Changing birthdays is a tough one. Not out of the question, but tough.
And, as much as I like granting wishes, this is one wish you’re gonna need to deal with yourself I’m afraid. Because yes, your Father.
Good news for you is that there is precedent here. Christmas – which falls on your birthday – is probably being celebrated on the wrong date. It started being celebrated on December 25th back in about the 4th century, a long time after the event it was meant to commemorate.
The Bible doesn’t actually say what date Mary checked in to the barn, cervix dilated and Lamaze panting amidst all those lo-ing cattle, but there’s reasonable evidence to suggest that it couldn’t have been December 25th.
Sure, things are warm in the Southern Hemisphere on December 25th, but in Bethlehem, it is chilly.
Far too cold for the shepherds to be watching their flocks by night while a “Virgin” gives birth. The shepherding thing actually is in the Bible (Luke 2: 7-8) and this was long before North Face produced economical adventure gear that could have made this survivable, let alone tolerable. Shepherding practice back in the day was for the flock to be outside in warm months, and in barns overnight in winter.
Secondly, Luke also reports (2:1-4) that Jesus’ parents came into Bethlehem to register the birth in the Roman Census. Fast forward 2000 odd years to Australia’s Census in 2016 and you can see how difficult the Census would have been at this time. It simply didn’t occur in winter conditions because travel was so difficult.
Thirdly, in 2008, Australian astronomer Dave Reneke used his wicked smarts to chart how the night sky would have been 2000 years ago. Seems that the bright star that guided the wise men to the baby with their gifts, would indeed have been over Bethlehem, wouldn’t have been a star, it would have been an optical illusion with Venus and Jupiter so close in the night sky as to appear as one star.
And it would have been in June.
Science is the BEST.
It’s possible that December 25th was chosen simply to go head-to-head with Roman pagan festivities occurring around the winter solstice.
It’s a bit like scheduling Masterchef against The Voice – you may well be a fan of both, but the networks need you to choose and will throw everything at making you choose them.
So there. Birthdays – or the date they are celebrated can be changed at will. I’m going to hazard a guess that it will be slightly more difficult for you, but if you can get your Dad to take his eyes off the school shootings that he sits by and watches in spite of allegedly having the power to stop them, you might be able to get him to shift your birthday to November 18 or June 17 which are the most likely dates for the anniversary of your birth.
Good luck with bringing evidence into any of these discussions though.
I’ll put you down for a new pair of sandals for Christmas and decent soft pillow for your birthday.
PS Probably no point in you asking the Easter Bunny for any eggs this year – you’ll be more interested in a Panadol