Today I'm walking through Dublin city, initially with some very intrusive traffic but soon in the quiet of university courtyards. I'm out to see my family for Christmas drinks, and it's a great time to talk about where Christmas has ended up, about two centuries since it began to coalesce into the modern holiday we know, with secular trappings. The ancient solstice related feast is less important now that we live in a society of (relative to centuries past) plenty, and the need for a point of light in the long winter months is less intense. So what do we need from Christmas, and what can we take from it, with all its consumerist baggage?
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