I have had a revelation and I can only assume the FSM has touched me with his noodly appendage. While sitting down with friends to a few tankards of brown frothy synaptic enhancer and a pasta salad for X-myth lunch I realised the true origin of the season.
Many centuries ago before global warming when the pirate life style was more prevalent there was always the mid-winter lull in boat traffic. With nothing to raid many pirate ships began to gather and raft up around the winter solstice to swap stories, get drunk, fight, tattoo treasure maps on the back of the cabin boys and generally refine the pirate kills for the next season. Although sailing skills were critical to their livelihoods literacy was not all that highly regarded so the charts to find the mass meet were often only marked with an X
A consequence of this banding of pirates was that a temporary flock of ships parrots came into existence and as everyone who has lived with these little flying dinosaurs knows they have scant regard for where their scat may fall! (With the exception of their nests –one of nature’s great lessons). This led to a rain of little squishy pellets on the meet or melee depending on your point of view. This was not seen as particularly bad since most of the pirates in the era were not born on the sea but into the rural communities of a much more agrarian age and escaped to sea. So these less technological brigands probably had a better appreciation of natural fertilizers and really bad rum than many of us today. In fact it was certain that a great many saw the pellets as a gift from nature.
Which brings me back to the present. As with any meal at our place we have to share with my free range parrot Russell (a cockatiel named in honour of Russell Crowe as it’s an egocentric girl with the same IQ as most Hollywood celebrities). She is a fiend for pasta and gets a little bowl to herself. After which she will fly to her perch and proceed to clean and preen for hours with special attention to her claws. Assiduously working up and down each toe and claw, leaving a pristine and sanitary appendage.
Now for the REVELATION. Hundreds of years ago before the upstart johnny-come-lately x-tian churches co-opted and distorted the event for their own mercenary and fiscal ends there was a great party called X-MASS celebrated at the WINTER SOLSTICE during which some quite SANITARY CLAWS flew above distributing GIFTS to all!!!