John Balentine has hit the true nature of Christmas on the head (“Here’s Something: Have yourself a joyful little Christmas,” Dec. 17). His prosaic little ode to joy reveals the triviality of unchristian expressions of happiness. It’s true that ancient Norsemen celebrated Yule for a month following the solstice. Romans celebrated Saturnalia, in honor of their god of agriculture, in the week leading to the winter solstice. Similar welcoming of the returning sun has traditionally occurred in the Chinese Dong Zhi celebration and Japan’s Toji.

Many more pagan winter solstice celebrations have occurred in benighted cultures around the world from time immemorial. More than a few continue to this day. All those pagans had thought that trifles like fun, food, their families, the sun’s probable return and wonder at the mystery of the universe were enough to make them joyful. Little did they know.

When Jesus appeared and we woke to Him, we were the first to know true joy, even before Europeans changed Him from brown to white as He changed water to wine. To think that a pagan or other infidel could know true solstice joy is wack, and any pagan expressing the fake holiday joy Mr. Balentine describes risks causing some devout Christian goodfella to whack him or her.

So my advice to all infidels is to awaken to the only true meaning of this time of the year and convert, finding, as Mr. Balentine says, true joy, Christian joy. Either that or stop your unwoke, ersatz holiday joy. That is, be safe; act meh. Merry Christmas!

Ken Weston
Bath