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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A day like any other

My husband asked me a couple of letters ago how I really handle not celebrating Christmas when just about everyone else is all happy and merry and really getting into the festivities. He knows that my special day is the solstice, and that usually I do things over several days rather than cramming it all into a gluttonous 24 hours.

Plenty of people around the world do not observe Christmas as any kind of special day, and many have other days in the year that they celebrate with gifts and parties and a little too much food and drink. I often think that birthdays are more special than holidays, simply because your birthday is yours. That makes my husband's eyes roll as well, because he has no time for astrology :)

But seriously, it really is no big deal for me not to jump on the Christmas Day bandwagon. I've already opened the couple of gifts I received this year, when my daughter and her boyfriend came over for dinner on Sunday. They are spending today with friends who this year had a premature baby. But you see, just because I don't do Christmas, doesn't mean I don't participate in anything that happens at this time of year. Quite the contrary; many Christmas traditions are based on pagan activities.

I send Yule cards rather than Christmas cards. I spend quite a bit of time each November hunting down cards that say "Seasons greetings" rather than any reference to Christmas, and I make sure that some of them have no glitter or other embellishments on so that they are prison-friendly. They usually have trees on, or robins and snowmen.

Talking of trees, I would have a tree as long as it still had roots, but I don't have a garden to keep it in. So for the past couple of years I haven't had a tree indoors at all or any specific decorations beyond some seasonal greenery in a bowl. But I have a yew tree just 5 feet from my front room window so I usually have my own show of birds to decorate my view instead.

I give gifts. Mostly handmade, or just small things that I know the recipients really want. I receive gifts too, though rarely as many as I give, but that's OK. It's not the receiving that counts.

We share food and drink, with people we want to spend time with. That's possibly a little different to the majority Christmas where you "have" to spend time with "family" whether you want to or not because it is "tradition". I love to cook, so having the kids over for dinner was great for me to do a full roast. As I now live on my own, I rarely cook that much food in one go these days. Eating with friends is also part of my tradition, whether I'm making food to send to them, or eating out with them as I will be in a couple of day's time for one of our regular lunches.

So really as you can see, my end of December isn't that different to other people's. I just don't spend ridiculous amounts of money, or hoard bread and milk as if the world is about to end. It's quite liberating, in an old fashioned kinda way.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this post. As a confirmed atheist who has no reason to celebrate a festival high-jacked by the church in order to better assimilate themselves into the lives of formerly pagan folk, (Note to self: get off your soapboax Bex and save your rantings for your own blog!)I prefer to celebrate the season around the Winter Solstice and all throughout December/January. I see it as a time of year to reflect, look back on what has passed in the previous 12 months, get together with family and friends, spend time with loved ones and cosy up in the safety and sanctuary of my home at my favourite time of year (yes, I'm a weirdo who loves winter and hates summer!) to take stock, journal a bit and plan for the forthcoming year. We don't have Thanksgiving over here, but I choose this time to be thankful for all that has gone well, whilst letting go of all that has gone wrong. I still celebrate with family on Christmas Day (it's an important tradition to them and as long as I play nice and refrain from spouting religiosceptic (made that word up!) rhetoric at them, they are happy to have me there. My other half has no interest in Christmas whatsoever and is happy to just go along with whatever I want to do. Which is good, because I'm female and therefore get to wear the trousers AND the skirt (which I frequently do together!) Anyway, just thought I'd stop by and say hello and compliment you on your post. See you on the forum, Bex


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