Here, There be a Writer

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thoughts on December and the Holidays

Still a day later and almost a dollar short, but 'tis the season I guess.

Still trying to find a bit of balance between everything. It's Christmas week and somewhere I left my holiday spirit. I was doing so well, maybe with my recent purchases leaving my bank account nearly depleted, or as comfortable as I would hope for. That and the general dissent over  Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays.


It happens every year. People feel the need to shout out loud or in the case of social media, proclaim via ALL CAPS that there is a war of Christmas. Every year I say I won't get in the middle and every year something ticks me off to respond. Now, Dear Readers, don't get me wrong, if will probably scratch some head, might even angry a folk or two. I'm sure many will agree in part with this. There is NO WAR ON CHRISTMAS! It's a delusion.


It starts...Okay, not going lie to you Dear Readers, those both old and new. I am not Christian, nor am I Catholic. I am pagan, somewhere between Wiccan, Witchy, and general believer in the natural world. I grew up with Christmas. My dad raised was raised Protestant and mom Roman Catholic. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, even went to church, blessing the basket (ham, butter, horseradish, the whole kit and kaboodle) and the Easter eggs and chocolate or the Christmas service. I knew the stories and was taught right from wrong, but that was it.

Art by UnripeHamadryad
In high school I became agnostic, well about as agnostic as I could be in high school. I just didn't know where I fit in or what I believed in. I tried the Bible Club, listening to the discussions, even trying to take part in, I also read  a lot of native Indian legends, stories, and belief structures. I wasn't sure where I belonged. It was in college where I discovered Wicca, through my best friend. Since then I have called myself pagan, more as a general term than any one sections. I associate mostly with the Greek and Celtic pantheons and my patron Goddesses are Ceridwen (Goddess of Wisedom)  and Artemis (Goddess of the Dark, the Hunt, sometimes connected with the moon), but I celebrate Christmas. I also love the story of the Nativity and my favourite Christmas Carols are Silent Night/O Holy Night. I am a little of everything!

Thank you UnripeHamadryad for borrowing your art! You should go and visit her deviantart page, pretty awesome stuff. Link is here: UnripeHamadryad!

I see that some people get bent out of shape when someone says Happy Holidays, citing that December is for Christmas, or put the "Christ" in Christmas, don't say Happy Holidays because its Merry Christmas. And it bugs me. It also bugs me when people also go too far in the other direction and are obvious about it. See, I prefer to say whatever comes out of my mouth, sometimes its Happy Holidays, sometimes it's Merry Christmas, but ALWAYS it's said with sincerity and love.

The way that I see it, if you say something with love and sincerity then it will be received with the same feelings. If you like to say Merry Christmas then do so, but don't get mad when someone says Happy Holidays to you. They may celebrate Christmas or maybe Saturnalia or nothing at all. Say you greetings with love and love will be returned. But when you make a point of making big deal what you say, then people will react.

What are your thoughts, Dear Readers? Do you say one greeting all the time, do you jump between, or do you make a point to say the one most appropriate? Thoughts on this issue? Please keep it clean and no negativity, but I do love to hear all sides. Feel free to share your thoughts...

This is a little bit of a cleansing blog, it's something that bothers me when feathers are ruffled. I still have much joy to spread this season and by writing this I can get some of that frustration out of my system.

There are many holidays that fall into December, here are a few of the ones you might not be familiar with.

Saturnalia (December 17th to 23rd): A feast and celebration of the Roman God, Saturn, with feast, drink, and gift giving.

Feast of St. Nicholas (Day)/Krampusnacht (December 6th in Western Europe and December 19th in Eastern Europe): The night when children put out shoes to either gwt candy/treats if they are good (from St. Nicholas) or get switches/beating (from Krampus). A dual character holiday, the good with the bad celebrated all across Europe from Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy to name a few.

Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1st): an African American holiday first celebrated in 1966-7 with feasts and gift giving and honouring the 7 basic principles of African heritage: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, faith.

Yule/Solstice (December 21st): The day that is the shortest and the night which is the longest. The days begin to get longer and the winter grows stronger. A time when gifts are exchanged and holly is hung. Candles are light and songs are sung. In many ways Yule/Solstice is Christmas, and as Christmas envolved from Yule you can say the us Pagan and Christians celebrate the same holiday. We celebrate the death of the Sun God, who was then born again anew. This myth is present in many culture new and old.

These are just a few of the holiday that are celebrated in this month. Please feel free to explore more of these holidays and remember to spread the love and good will to all people.

Blessed Yule, Dear Readers! Have a Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, St. Nicholas Day/Krampusnacht, and Festivus!! Eat, Drink, and be Merry!

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