T he Etruscans are one of the most fascinating pre-Roman civilizations but, puzzlingly, also one of those we know the least about: the real Etruscan...
Merry Christmas or Buon Natale is fine but Season’s Greetings sounds too one size fits all seasons.
It seems that with merchants putting up their Christmas decorations (now holiday decorations) a nanosecond after clearing shelves of candy corn and pumpkin patches, the Christmas shopping season gets longer as the list of public Christmas displays gets shorter.
In secular America, Christ, the Birthday Bambino, is getting disinvited to his own birthday celebration. Schools close for winter break, not Christmas vacation, Christmas Programs in the school auditorium are extinct, except for a possible Holidays around the world program, and many in Corporate America, fearful of lawsuits, have abandoned the office Christmas party altogether.
A re-run follows of a poem, author unknown, that points out Santa’s Dilemma in today’s secular society, but first a couple of Christmas carols with an Italian Connection:
Tu scendi dalle stelle
Tu scendi dalle stelle,
O Re del Cielo
E vieni in una grotta al freddo e al gelo;
O Bambino mio divino,
io ti vedo qui a tremar
O Dio beato
Oh! Quanto ti costò
A te, che sei del mondo il Creatore
Mancano panni e fuoco
O mio Signore
Caro eletto pargoletto
Quanto questa povertà
Più mi innamora, Giacché ti fece amor
You come down to the stars,
Oh King of heaven,
And come into a cave,
In cold and ice,
Oh my divine Child,
I see you shivering here,
Oh blessed God.
Oh how much it cost you to have loved me.
You, who are the Creator of the world,
Lack clothing and fire.
Oh, my Lord, dear chosen Babe.
How much this poverty makes me love you.
Since love made itself poor also.
Canzone degli Zampognari
Quanno nascette Ninno a Betlemme
Era notte a parea mmizo juorno!
Maje le stelle lustere e belle
Se vedettero accusi!
La chiu lucente
Jetta a chiammà li Magi in Oriente
Lo Liopardo pazzia
L’urzo co zetiello
E co lu lupo’n pace u pecoriello
Guardavano le pecore li pasture
E l’angelo, sbrennende chiu belu sole
E le dicette
No ve spaventate, no!
La terra e’ arranzentata Paradiso!
Song of the Bag Pipers
When the child was born in Bethlehem
It was night and seemed like midday
Great were the stars lustrous and beautiful
The brightest went to call the Magi in the East
There were no enemies on earth
The lion lay down with the sheep
The leopard played with the goat
The bear with the calf
And the wolf in peace with the lamb
The shepherds were watching their sheep
And the Angel, shining brighter than the sun, appeared and said to them,
Be not afraid- be happy and smiling
Earth has become Paradise!
Politically correct Santa ‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck How to live in a world that’s politically correct? His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”, “Vertically challenged” they were called themselves. And labor conditions at the North Pole Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul. Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety. Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal opportunity had made it quite clear that Santa had better not use just reindeer. So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid, Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that was stupid. The runners had been removed from his sleigh; The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A. And people had started to call for the cops When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops. Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened. His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened”. And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows: Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose And had gone to Geraldo, in front of the nation, Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone, and so was his wife Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life, Joined a self-help group, packed and left in a whiz Demanding from now on her title was Ms. And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion That making the choice could cause so much commotion Nothing of leather, nothing of fur, Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her Nothing that might be construed to pollute. Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise Nothing for just girls.
Or just for the boys Nothing that claimed to be gender specific Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden, Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden For they raised the hackles of those psychological Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological. No baseball, no football, someone could get hurt Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt. Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passé And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed He just could not figure out what to do next .
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground Nothing fully acceptable was to be found. Something special was needed, a gift that he might Give to all without angering the left or the right. A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision, Each group of people every religion, Every ethnicity, every hue, Everyone, everywhere...even you So here is that gift, its price beyond worth “May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on this earth”
Merry Christmas e Buon Natale, augurandovi buona salute e ogni felicità per questo Natale e per il prossimo anno.