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December 07, 1961 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-12-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

[RER 7, 2961,



BER 7_1961 THE MIC _._ N DAslY


Pagans Spark

Frat Christmas Spirit: 100 Proof


Since the year 400, when the
Romans declared it one of the
three great feast days on which
the theatres had to be closed,
Christmas has been a national
holiday in most Christian coun-.
Origins of other generally ac-
cepted Christmas practices have
evolved into strange mutations of
the originals.
The idea of giving presents at
Christmas is said to have been
suggested by the Roman, St.
Nicholas, when he gave dowries
to three daughters of an impover-
ished citizen.
Christmas presents, as they
exist today, were first exchanged
in 'Teutonic countries. In Latin
America "strenae" are equivalents.
of gifts.
Of course, the first Christmas
gifts were those brought by the
Magi - gold, frankincense and
Left Sweets
Santa Clause, according to the
Encyclopedia Britanica, is an
American corruption of the Dutch
"San Nicholaas." This.rotund pa-
tron of children is said to have
left sweets for "the good little
boys and girls" and sticks and
charcoal for any child who had,
the audacity to be bad just before
In Holland the receptacles await-
ing the sweets were wooden shoes.
Today, the clever, gift-hungry
American has replaced wooden
shoes with stretch stockings.
The connection of the tree with
Christmas is obscure, but it seems
to have arisen from an old Ger-
man custom. In the evolution of
the tree cult, the tree has come to
represent human life. A newly
planted tree is said to symbolize
a babe. Since Christmas cele-
brates one of the best known
births, this may be the association..
Tree Worship
Another reason for the Christ-
mas tree is that pagans believed
that the tree housed spirits and
the worshiping of trees was not
unusual. The evergreen as a sym-
bol of Christmas, may simply be
a Christianized form of tree wor-
If this is true, :one might ask
what spirits are housed in stainless
steel or aluminium trees, which
are displayed in many houses.
The fact that this holiday is
celebrated -in the winter, since

there are other possible dates for
the nativity, has been traced back
to an ancient Egyptian custom.
After Christmas and the Epi-
phany, the celebration of baptism,
were joined into one holiday in
434 AD, it has been supposed that
winter was chosen because of some
vague connection with the Nile
festival, making Christmas a reli-
gious from of the blessing of the
In the winter the water of the

Nile is said to be purest, and,
therefore, best for baptism.
The actual origin of Christmas,
the birth of Christ, is, of c urse,
religious and riot, pagan. The
pagan aspect of Christmas is more
of a modern invention., Paganism
entered the scene when practices
like the exchanging of presents
began. Today, with the emphasis
on gifts, it is often hard to re-
member that there really is a
religious aspect to December 25.

Present-Day Paganism

nolds, believe it or not, is af-
"For the true Christmas spirit
in America, there is no place like
the fraternity house to find that
spirit," John R. Quixote, '2BAd,
president of Gamma Delta Iota,
claimed last night in a speech
before the Inter - Brotherhood
"This spirit is almost always 100
proof," he continued.
The true beauty, love and reli-
gious spirit are found in profusion
throughout the system, he said.
With the football season over and
Thanksgiving.done with, what else
is there to give a college man
strength but his knowledge that
the joys of Christmas are just
around the corner.
Beauty Aid
Beauty is much better appreci-
ated over a keg at a Christmas
party, he emphasized, even though
altitude does impair going through
low doorways. And there is the
added delight of supporting a
beautiful but bombed sorority girl
home through the snow.
"This is the esselce of love," the
well-known supporter of fraterni-
ties related. "Mmmm, but those
Tri-Psis are good. Sororities were
made to provide us with mates for
those TGIF's."
He repeatedly made the point
that religious spirit was the key-
note for all Christmas activities-
fraternity men religiously pray
that the Sugar Plum fairies might
bring them enough alcohol for a
constant source throughout the
holidays, enough willing dollies to
last them throughout that trying
period away from the brotherhood
and a Rose Bowl victory for the
West Coast so he might collect
three to one on this month's allow-
Touching Scene
Added to this are the hopes and
fears of all the years: Will the
good father allow the son and the
car to drive off into the sunset to
spend a semester at school to-
Inanswer to a question as to
traditional Christmas rituals, Qui-
xote assured the Council that in
a recent survey 94 per cent of the
fraternity men who - answered
stated that they "really did enjoy
unwrapping presents under the
tree, no matter what party they
had been to the previous night,"
Eighty per cent stated that they
would probably think about going
to Christmas services.
Status Seeker
"I don't mean to run indepen-
dents down," he continued, "but
they have neither the practice nor
the organization of the brother-
hoods. You might call it a sort of
Greek fire.
"Where some people have to
chance the parties which might
come during the season, the fra-
ternity man has a definite list of
contacts for each day, each of
which has a party, whether the
person knows it or not."
He emphasized that after the
holiday reprieve, fraternity men
will staunchly return to their post
as the last bastion aginst the on-
slaught of Communism.
IBC Vice-President Peter Rob-
ertson put in his two cents' worth,
relating that the fraternity man's
Christmas was also extremely edu-
cational: not only do the brothers
learn a number of carols ("Really
impresses the dates," he gushed),
but the, songs also give him
drinking practice away from the
rigors of the classroom.
He wisely pointed out that the
carols, innocent on the surface,'
were actually a clever device to
make the girls willing. This is
all in the spirit of brotherhood,
though, he hastily added.

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT-Nothing can show the fraternity man's
belief in planning than his activities at Christmas, when he can
really "snow" the girls, not bothered by the trivia of classes
or status. "We really twist then," stated Peter Robertson, above,
in the checked sweater.

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