Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Cheers.

It's been about 8 years since I have celebrated Christmas.

I'm not Christian and just find it weird to celebrate the birth of the savior of people who believe in this great myth. It actually upsets me that people are so excited to celebrate a holiday that was adapted from another mythology by a bunch of evil rulers many years ago as a way to control the actions of the population.

I find Christianity to be hypocritical- why put so much faith in a religious figure who was kind, gentle, generous, able to accept the ultimate punishment for expressing love and unity - and then wage bloody, cruel wars in that same figure's name? Why persecute all who didn't hold the same beliefs and values? It goes against logic and upsets me that the people practicing Christianity rarely recognize this.

But I'm over being upset about this. In a world that is in constant turmoil because of religious clashes, I have accepted that this is not isolated to Christianity. It is not isolated, even, to this century. Since time immemorial, people have needed something bigger, greater, more powerful and mysterious than themselves to believe in. It gives them hope and that is an incredibly comforting emotion.

So fine. I'm glad these people have hope. And that they can remind themselves of the hope by hanging bright lights from dead pine trees and baking gingerbread cookies and giving each other fancily-wrapped presents. I'm glad that during this time of year, people are reminded that they should offer to help strangers and give money to charities.

Earlier this year, I decided not to despise this holiday anymore. My roommates and I got a tree and we spent hours and many dollars shopping and decorating. We hung bright, beautiful lights on our balcony and put a Santa hat on a life-size skeleton that hangs off the same balcony, just over our front door.

I went to San Francisco in a Santa costume to party with hundreds of other people in similar dress. I bartended and played Dance Dance Revolution at an office party. I even bought a few ridiculously funny presents for one of my roommates during our decoration shopping spree.

This feels much more lovely than in previous years, where I had to take a vacation in order to distance myself from these kinds of festivities. People are giving me booze and bath salts and cookies, for crying out loud. And I'm thankful for it. Mostly for the booze.

We're having Christmas dinner at our beach house with family and friends. I'm going to insist on a prayer before dinner. It just seems like the right thing to do.


Tony Alva said...

A sensible reconsideration young lady... I'm not at all a pious Christian, but I've many friends that feel the same way and I've been miffed for years at their efforts to NOT feel good during this season. Like most things, organized religion has it's ugly side, but this is what I always ask my waterbug friends: When was the last time an atheist took 18 months of their life and went to some shithole orphanage in some way out South American interior and helped take care of sick kids? Do you think the starving kids in Africa consider the dogma of a particular relief agency when food is being handed out after not eating for a week?

It's always easier to find the worst part of something or somebody than to celebrate the good. Chirstmas time is a GOOD thing for all the reasons you mention.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Your Loyal Long Time Reader/Lurker,

Tony Alva

B.E. Earl said...

I love this post so much I wanna marry it and have children with it.

Merry Stolen Pagan Holiday!

NWO said...

I like this post, too. Wishing you all the best, regardless of whether it's blessings, luck, or random energy of the universe.

Rassles said...

I've come to accept that Christmas, despite the name, has basically absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. Nothing whatever.

To me, the winter holidays are the most rational of all celebrations. It gives people hope and warmth when the world itself is cold and dark. It makes sense. It's the most genius psychological brainwashing on earth (well, in the northern hemisphere). It's twenty degrees below. Snot is freezing inside your nose and you can't see because the wind bites your eyes, all of the trees are dead and the animals are in hiding and you can't feel your own hands and feet - the two things that anchor you directly to the earth.

So we must reinforce our love for each other. Keep ourselves motivated to survive through these bleak natural conditions.

It's brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Christmas is beyond Christianity. It's a festival, like New Year's, or the footy grand final.

Putting the Christ into Christmas is missing the point, really.

Le Meems said...


King of Christmas

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I hope you had a wodnerful holiday!!