Holiday greetings to all

Dear Diary,

Hans:  The winter solstice will soon be here.  Like our
ancestors, we will celebrate the change of the seasons, from winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  For centuries, pre-dating the arrival of Christianity, people of ancient times found meaning in the shortest day of the year.  The practice recognised the movement from the dark days of winter to the ever-lengthening days of spring.  The celebration honoured the fertility of the earth, upon which the survival of humankind depended.  As Christianity sought to subsume the old religions, it adopted the story of darkness to light and applied it to the birth of its founder, Jesus of Nazareth.  Gradually, the notions of the old religions were replaced with Christian theology but in many cases the ancient symbols remained.  The celebration of Christmas is best placed in the Northern Hemisphere where the darkness of the long days of winter is replaced by the lengthening of the days of spring.  All the current symbols of Christmas are tied into this.  I come from Germany with ties to the Nordic cultures; we have provided so many Christmas symbols such as St Nick, the Yule log and the Christmas tree.

AdamI have only known a summer Christmas; I have always
thought a Santa in shorts seemed somehow out of place.  The traditional Christmas symbols don't seem appropriate here, logically because they are for winter.  But, that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the longest day of the year. 

Armand:  I like both the winter and the summer solstice and
any time for a party is fine with me!  I like the traditional mid-winter feast in June (our winter solstice) and enjoy the tree, prezzies and feast at Christmas.  We sing carols and drink eggnog while pretending it's snowing outside.  

Angelo:  I'm just a kid and I still make out a list of things I want from Santa.  Why shouldn't I still believe in Kris Kringle - he always brings me lots of goodies.  I always have a difficult time falling asleep on Christmas Eve, always thinking I hear the sound of jingling sleigh bells.  I try each year to stay awake, hoping to catch a glimpse of the flying reindeer, especially Rudolph with his shining red nose.  But, sadly I can't stay awake.  But, then it's morning and I rush to find the presents under the tree.

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Jesse: From all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, we wish you a

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