Today we start a new tradition for the holidays. A tradition that includes everyone in the brotherhood of man regardless of race, creed, language, or religion. On December 25th we observe Sir Isaac’s birthday and celebrate reason, logic, and human accomplishment in the areas of technology and science.
The first part of our Newtonmas celebration centers around the gifts of technology. We give the fruits of reason to people we care about to help them improve their enjoyment of life and productivity at their vocation. Any technology is an acceptable present! Anything from a plane or a pully to the latest laptop will do. The only requirements are that the technology you give 1) makes the recipient happy 2) was invented by humans 3) is a useful tool in the recipient’s life.
As you can see many people are already giving Newtonmas gifts for Christmas, Hanukkuh, Kwanzaa, Yule, Mithramas, and Saturnalia and they don’t even know it!
The next part of Newtonmas involves apples. Apples are important to Sir Isaac’s story because it was during a walk in his garden that an apple falling to the ground inspired him to form a hypothesis for Gravity. So give an apple, eat an apple, hang an apple ornament on your Newtonmas (or Christmas or Yule) tree, drink apple cider, give apple wine, the possibilities are endless. Have fun with it and let us know how you have incorporated apples into your celebration.
Finally, and this is important, we honor and celebrate the gifts that science and the scientific method have given us this past year. You can reflect on a friend or loved one who has received a life saving medical treatment this year and express gratitude that they are still with us. Make a list of all the new technology that has influenced our lives in the past year and debate as to whether that technology actually made our lives better or worse. The point of Newtonmas is not to blindly celebrate technology and science but to examine how these tools fit in our lives to make them fuller and richer experiences. As we reflect on the gifts of science take this opportunity to have a rational debate about technology’s place in our lives.
We will provide a list of technological accomplishments from 2014 on this site to help you with your year end reflection.
A word about myth and magic. Newtonmas does not incorporate any fictional characters into the holiday. Our stance is that what people have accomplished using math, science, and reason is miraculous enough. We don’t need a magic elf using our chimney to drop off presents. If you want to feel holiday magic ponder our place in this vast and ever expanding universe. Realize how we are all made of stars and connected to everything by our biology and chemistry.