Monday, December 19, 2011

Avoiding the holidays (rant)

There are a lot of reasons why I don't like the holidays.  I'm not a Christian anymore and the constant refrain of the Christers, as I call them, is mentally exhausting.  Keep CHRIST in CHRISTMAS they scream on billboards and on Facebook and in person,  not caring or knowing that most "Christmas" rituals were stolen from older pagan traditions.   These people get royally offended at the generic greeting of Happy Holidays and don't seem to understand that Happy Holidays includes everyone, while Merry Christmas excludes everyone who doesn't worship Jesus. To me, one is friendly, the other rude.  Do what you want with your Jesus but keep him out of my face.
What elements of Christmas, you ask, are taken from pagans?
  • The son of a god being born at the winter solstice--the feast of Osiris (ancient Egypt), who was the son of a god and who died and was resurrected, was on 12/25.  Mithras (ancient Rome) was also born on the solstice, died and was buried and resurrected, and I believe he also might have been born of a virgin but don't quote me on that.
  • Evergreen tree--Druids of ancient England decorated trees to celebrate the winter solstice.
  • Mistletoe kissing--a pagan fertility practice.
  • Santa--modern Santa was pretty much invented by Coca-Cola and I never understood what he had to do with Jesus.
  • I don't have any idea where presents came from but not from Jesus.  All my presents when I was little came from Santa, Jesus never gave me anything.
Just a few of the many.
The Jesus hysteria, of course, is a big one that makes me want to crawl into a turtle shell around Thanksgiving and not come out.   Another is holiday music.  Even on the radio, on stations that usually play lovely loud rock music, they are playing those same rock bands warbling mournfully about the holidays in a way that should truly offend anyone of any sense and taste, of any religion.
Of course, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), triggered by the loss of light leading up to the winter solstice, makes everything that much worse.  The turtle shell idea is that much more inviting--I don't want to come out and why should I?
The thought of entering any store during that same time period is anathema to me.  I don't want presents.  I can't afford to reciprocate and I don't want more STUFF.  I spent last year de-cluttering my house, why should I junk it back up with stuff I don't want or need?   People desperate to get the latest, greatest, hottest STUFF, the must-have stuff, the looks on their faces as they pay with charge cards and layaway and their mortgage money just makes me ill.
I try to take a step back and allow others to play out their karma and their own lives while I hide. I think about how much fun I'll be having a year from now as Baktun 12 winds down and for probably the only time in my life, everyone talks about the Mayan calendar.

Happy Winter Solstice.  Enjoy whatever holiday your like, in your own way.

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