holidays

I like to post when I have something to say. Not just to post. The last few weeks have been very busy on the secular level and while I have been debating on some things to write it, I felt they would be controversial. Now that I’m sick, I’ll just jot a few of those things down.

1.) I’m not big on social gatherings. More than 3 people and I don’t like it at all. So holidays that translate to “gatherings” seem more like a nightmare to me than bottled sunshine.

This makes celebrating holidays a bit of a trial because I want them to be special and meaningful, which ritual and ceremony can provide, but I don’t want to hang out with groups of people. This Catch-22 always makes December a hardship in planning activities instead of a fun time.

2.) I do celebrate Christmas. I was going to write a big long post about why but do you really need to know? In brief, I was raised by Agnostic parents (who were in turn raised by occasional church goers) with a traditional Christmas of tree, presents and turkey dinner. I loved all the magic of Santa and I still do, even though I have an atheist son, an agnostic daughter and a pagan husband.

I don’t put Christ into Christmas. Most Christmas symbols were stolen from Pagans and there is no historical evidence that Jesus was born in December – and since I don’t see Jesus as anything but a dicey historical figure, I don’t see any need to worship or honor him. I don’t do it for Buddha, so sorry Jesus.

3.) Because of my cultural history, celebrating Winter Solstice just rings false to me. I’m not blasting anyone else’s need to celebrate this, everyone has what speaks to them. What I appreciate Winter Solstice is that we get more daylight and that is indeed something I celebrate everyday past 12/21.

It doesn’t help that my December runs something like this: Daughters birthday (12/12), Sons birthday (12/15), Anniversary (12/16), Winter Solstice (12/21), and Christmas (12/25). By mid December I am generally ready to tear my hair out so adding another “holiday” to celebrate is just more stress!

4.) All the bro-haha about gift giving and the commercial side of Christmas ticks me off. Not at the retailers but the crazy shoppers AND the holier-than-thou “you don’t need presents” folks.

There is nothing wrong with having one day a year where you give and receive gifts. If someone is making it crazy, than just step off the crazy train. Don’t blame others for what you are willingly “buying” into.

My suggestions:

1.) Don’t buy presents for adults. Period. We had a long run of holiday poverty when cash was tight. We ended up telling the in-laws who were really big on gift giving that it would be homemade ONLY. Yeah, sometimes that was a bit bumpy but we stuck to it and Christmas is a lot easier now.

2.) Don’t get your kids tied into name-brands. We never did the Disney-branding crap in our home and hence we don’t have kids who must have a certain brand. This kinda stuff like Frozen is just a commercial goldmine and a parents nightmare. Steer your kid clear of it – don’t buy the pillows, sheet sets, comforter, backpacks, hats or whatever and keep downplaying “brands” of clothing as having prestige.

3.) Mock commercials that sell. Kids are quick to pick up on how stupid advertising that plays to emotion and fears is – just keep pointing it out in a humorous way

4.) If your kids are surrounded by people who put more emphasis on what they have in terms of possessions than who they are, find some new friends. It really pissed me off that daughters school in Missouri put such a big emphasis on Apple products. That crap is expensive and Apple donates Zero to schools unlike Microsoft.

Stupid parenting moves:

1.) denying kids any Christmas, not because of religious beliefs but because you have issues. My recommendation to this woman – get an education and leave retail. Retail has been slicing jobs and is declining. Don’t be thankful to the hundreds if not thousands of shoppers who were polite and happy standing in long lines.

I’m sure your kids will be so happy to have any magic to their childhood completely removed by your cynicism and “realism.”

2.) forcing kids to give to the poor by giving up their own Christmas. Hey, I’m all for teaching generosity but I do that through the year; I don’t deny my kids their own gifts to “teach them a lesson in giving.”

For example, I have stopped and given warm food to the homeless; I donate to food drives; I donate my spare change to charity; I have supported and donated to my kids schools; and have given my time and abilities to charities that I support. I do this all year long – giving at Christmas because it’s Christmas is just part of that whole false-face Christianity you see everywhere.

This type of parenting is about the parents and not the kids or even the lesson!

Well there is my sermon from the sickbed…

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