Ever since I was a kid in Catholic school, I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the date of Christmas. I often wondered where it came from, given that it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, and (as the feast is celebrating the birth of Jesus) it seemed rather odd to set the date so close to midwinter given the fact that the middle east gets pretty nippy in Winter and the story of the Nativity takes place pretty much outside… with lambs and stuff. So what was going on there? Was one of the sheep just looking to get a mid-year quickie and had an unscheduled surprise? Did Mary and Joseph just pack a lot of blankets and thermal undies? Or was something else going on?