Saturday 6 December 2014

Compliments of the Season . . .

Artist unknown*

Season's Greetings!

That’s what an old friend of my parents, a perspicacious salesman, used to say when he arrived at our front door for his annual—pre-Christmas cocktails—visit. In retrospect, it was an eerily early act of cultural sensitivity. It was the 1960s, after all! I’m stealing the idea because, as an atheist anthropologist who grew up in an Abrahamic culture I know that almost anything I might want to say to an anonymous reader that refers to a specific year-end holy day could end up being an even longer and unwieldy sentence than the one you've just ploughed through.

So, Season's Greetings, it is!

It's time for shrimp on the barbie for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, and for putting another log on the fire for residents of northern temperate climes. The only real cross-cultural and pan-geographic reference that one can make is that, for a moment—at precisely 23:03 UTC on Sunday, December 21, 2014—the sun will appear to stand still as it reaches the southernmost point in its annual parade between the Tropics. That instant should be long enough for each one of us to recall friends and loved ones, the quick and the dead, and to say "Thank You" to everyone who's given us a little joy on this journey through life. As for me, I'll be thinking especially of the clicks that brought you and others to The Subversive Archaeologist on more than half a million occasions since October 2011.

Regardless of how you celebrate at this time of year, I wish you joy in abundance, now and forever.
* Many thanks to whomever is responsible for creating this enchanting and evocative image. It's found, uncredited, on numerous sites on the intertubes—but I was unable to locate the original source. 

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