PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET
PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: MADE OF MEAT
The research council is in an uproar! For the past several Earth days, I have studied the human custom known as “Christmas”. My analysis of their radio transmissions suggests that Christmas is a period of mournful depression and solitude, in deference to their chief god, Santa.
Recently, though the translator-brain has flagged additional radio broadcasts, which throw my analysis into confusion.
Transmission #1 started the fiasco. The translator-brain flagged it for further review, after it was unable to translate the following phrase:
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
At first I dismissed it as irrelevant: Christmas is not mentioned anywhere in the transmission. However, the translator-brain insisted on a strong correlation with other, more relevant broadcasts. This led me to:
Transmission #2, titled “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Frequent in this broadcast is the word “Christ”, plainly related to Christmas. The word occurs in the context of a deity born as a king.
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
(How foolish I’ve been! Even a soft-shelled hatchling, still feeding on plankton, would have brains enough to search whether Christmas had a root word!)
Further investigation revealed this Christ figure, also referenced as Jesus, Lord, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, and various other honorifics, appears in numerous other human radio signals. In fact, this being is a sort of man-deity, with a richer story even than Santa and Rudolph.
My tentative working theory (which I have not yet presented to the research council) is that this figure is coequal with Santa: Both appear quite often in the context of Christmas, yet their descriptions are so different that they cannot be the same being.
Clearly, the human celebration of Christmas is much more complex than this junior researcher had ever anticipated. I must continue this study for greater certainty (lest I appear foolish in front of the galactic research council once again).