I wasn’t raised Christian. Funny, but I don’t know what beliefs my parents held. We did celebrate Halloween (costumes and door to door), Thanksgiving, Christmas (a tree and presents) and Easter (dyeing eggs and Easter egg hunts). However, while I knew about Jesus and the backstory so to speak on Christmas and Easter (the Christian viewpoint), it was never truly important to my parents.
So I don’t come to you with a lot of angst against being raised __________ (insert here, Catholic, Protestant, Baptist etc…) and that’s exactly the way I like it.
My only problem with Christianity is Christians and their hypocrisy. If I was raised in a predominately Muslim country I would probably be shaking my fist against the sky and laminating about Muslim hypocrisy. Hypocrites and religion seem to go hand in hand don’t they?
I never believed in a Christian God and never will. However, I will always have a tree at “Christmas.” A decorated Christmas tree, stockings by the fireplace, cookies for Santa, and presents under the tree is part of childhood that (unlike my siblings’ memories) has stayed in my mind as a magical time of the year.
I’ve been thinking over that oddity. I have a 20 year old son who is an atheist, and a daughter that is definitely not Christian (despite the neighbors who got her to sign paperwork to that effect when she was about 10 years of age).
And yet the tree stands.
I do not know if for my kids that the tree has that special significance. I remember laying under the Christmas tree and staring at the colored lights for what seemed hours. How the presents that came in the mail from grandma had a special feel to them because of the old fashioned papers she always liked to pick out (which btw never were “great” gifts but still the unknown inside worked a spell). Any box under the tree seemed to encompass all potential and that in itself was more exciting than what lay inside.
Even though I feel that the closest description of my beliefs falls into the pagan category, it doesn’t influence how I feel about an evergreen standing in my living room.
The tree with lights and shiny things will always stand in my heart and house.
Grenwinae made a Yule cake for Winter Solstice, recipe adapted from this one, changing hazelnuts to cherry preserves and the mushrooms were made from mock-marzipan (don’t they look great?):
He says he’s going outside tonight to meditate with a candle in the ice and sleet storm.
Okay. I will be inside with some mulled cider and lay out on paper the new herb and vegetable garden for the spring.