By the end of the Middle Ages London’s population had recovered to its pre-Black Death level of 80,000 or so. In 1500 it’s estimated that 4% of England’s population lived in London. The Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt doubled in size under Queen Elizabeth, reaching 250,000 by 1600. By 1700, the population would be over 500,000 and 10% of the country’s population — and that despite devastating plagues which reoccurred at regular intervals and the Great Fire of 1666. People in their tens of thousands headed to London, like Dick Whittington, to seek their fortune. (The historical Whittington became Lord Mayor of London in 1397, but there’s no evidence of him ever owning a cat, and he came from a minor gentry family.) Under the Tudors London began to spill out from inside the old city walls. Southwark grew in size and importance (and was the home of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre) and new suburbs sprang up to the north and east of the city. Most significant, however, was the development of the West End, the land between London ‘proper’ and Westminster. Its proximity to the royal courts and palaces meant that nobles and gentry, lawyers and civil servants chose this area as their home: property values were high and the buildings elaborate.
I could barely contain my excitement as I crept over my dresser and slipped out my bedroom door, past my uncle who was sleeping on my floor specifically tasked with making sure I was not getting out of that Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt . I crept quietly down the hall, avoiding the creaky boards that I knew were there, and found myself at the top of the stairs, where I leaned my head down, just a bit, to see Saint Nick! What I saw was not a jolly old elf in a red suit. It was a half-built Masters of the Universe Castle Greyskull and various parts to finish it. The voices I heard were, of course, my mom, deaf from birth, who always talked a little too loudly, and my grandparents, who were trying to figure out how this contraption was supposed to work. I watched for a moment, then returned to my room, eager to hide what I had discovered, and as I laid back in my bed and had no problem going to sleep, I knew that I had, indeed, seen Santa, and he—or in this case, she—was real. Sadly, this would be the last Christmas with my mother, for two weeks before Christmas the next year, she didn’t come home after work…or ever again. Such were the casualties of mental illness then.
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In reality, Christmas is almost completely a Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt holiday now. It happens no matter what you do to mark or not mark it. Merry Christmas isn’t really much different from saying “Have a nice summer” or whatever. We lived in Qatar for many years It is quite a conservative Muslim country. We were having a a bunch of people in for Christmas dinner and decided it would be nice to get a big Christmas centerpiece for the dining room table, so we ordered one from a florist. It wasn’t cheap because the evergreens, etc. had to be flown in from Europe. When we went to pick it up, our arrangement looked puny next to all the other huge ones in the shop. We remarked on that to the florist and he said “Oh, those are for Qataris! They go crazy for Christmas!” And he was right. The big malls were full of Santa Clause, Reindeer, snowmen, Holly, etc. We could just have easily been in Minneapolis— except no manger scenes, although those wouldn’t really have been out of place as the Quran recognises Jesus Christ as a prophet— just not the Son of God.
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This is—so far—the nadir of the Republican Party’s devolution from a Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt political party into a Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt white tribe, the result of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. The GOP now embodies all the worst features of the autocratic culture that spread across the South after slavers migrated there from Barbados, making their first beach head in Charleston. Basically we’re now relitigating the Civil War “by other means.” This culture has been trying to conquer America since the early 1800s. I doubt they’ll ever stop trying. The people I’m really sorry for are traditional Republicans with actual principles. They don’t share many values with the Democratic Party, but they share even less with the drooling monster the GOP has turned into under Trump. And I don’t think it’s coming back. So they face the difficult choice of joining the Democrats and helping Biden move it even more toward the enter or perhaps starting a new party based on traditional Republican principles, or living in the wilderness as independents.
Christmas’s roots go way back. In fact, part of Christmas origins began in Scandinavia. The Norse people celebrated a holiday called Yule during December 21 through January. Why? Well with the worst of winter being over, they wanted to celebrate the return of the sun and longer days. Men and their sons would go out and find huge logs that they would then set on fire and feast around until the fire went out. This could take up to 12 days! Germans also celebrated their terrifying God, Oden, during the winter. They believed that Oden was the decider of who would be successful and who would die. Rome also celebrated one of their Gods at this time during a celebration called Saturnalia. During this time, they worshipped the God Saturn, who was the god of agriculture. Saturnalia was celebrated right before the winter solstice and went on for a month. The Roman social order flipped upside down at this time with the poorest of the poor actually being in charge of the city! Around this time, Romans also celebrated Juvenalia, which was a celebration in honor of the Roman children. And, on December 25th specifically, a Christopher Alesund Last Dance Shirt in honour of the birthday of the God Mithra, the God of the Sun (Sol Invictus) was celebrated.