Glad Tidings of Reason and Fact!

My favorite saying this time of year is ‘axial tilt is the reason for the season’.  Because, you know, it is. Not Jesus or whoever the heck the Maccabees were, but the angle of the sun, and the fact that even though the sun set at 4:13 today, tomorrow will be just a tiny bit longer.

I love holiday songs.  They’re the perfect mix of folk and musicals, my two favorite genres.  Even though I don’t believe the words, I think a lot of the really old, traditional carols are lovely, and honestly, I could do without the modern ones.  Except for these two.  The first – besides getting the facts straight! – is very funny, and the second I heard for the first time on Friday night and hope it becomes a classic, because it is fantastic.

Happy Solstice/ Season of Axial Tilt to you all!


God rest ye, Unitarians, let nothing you dismay;
Remember there’s no evidence
There was a Christmas Day;

When Christ was born is just not known,
No matter what they say,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

Our current Christmas customs come
From Persia and from Greece,
From solstice celebrations of the ancient Middle East.

This whole darn Christmas spiel is just
Another pagan feast,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

There was no star of Bethlehem,
There was no angels’ song;
There couldn’t have been wise men
For the trip would take too long.

The stories in the Bible are historically wrong,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

Tune: God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen
Words: Hymns for the Cerebration of Strife
Copyright 1990 by Christopher Raible


After all the gifts have been opened,
After the candles all have burned down,
After the warmth comes the chill of the season;
After the carols, the winter wind’s sound.

After all our friends have departed,
After the tinsel is all put away,
That is the time to reflect and remember—
The gifts of the season last more than one day.

The wheel of the year keeps turning, returning;
The sun, ever-dancing, shall lengthen the day.
Soon will the frostbite give way to the flower;
Under the snow waits the promise of May.

We hold in our hearts the joys of this season,
Warming our spirits as bitter winds blow;
Bringing to mind our soul, all that matters;
And that which is hollow, in faith letting go.

Charles Anthony Silvestri, 2014


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