You know, christmas and shit.

Sorry, I don’t really design for the web. But that’s from a holiday card I made this year.

I’ve got a strange love/hate relationship with Christmas. For one thing, as I get older, it gets stranger and stranger, and is mostly the time when I watch my family changing. (I sort of see them in stop-animation, with one-year intervals). And of course, while I’ve got nothing against gift-giving (in fact, the economic system I advocate is based on this principle), the consumerist thing is obviously quite noxious.

I wish there were an easy way to reconnect to when Christmas (or, really, solstice), was a celebration against the dark… an attempt to bring joy into a family as it faces the winter, essentially a new years celebration. In its way, it’s even more doom-and-gloom and epic than Halloween. And I wish it didn’t involve tree farms (or cutting down trees at all) and buying a bunch of useless plastic crap.

11 thoughts on “You know, christmas and shit.”

  1. I do dislike the commercialism that is rampant with this time of the year but I agree in that’s its the only ‘main’ Holiday of the year that is about other people, so in that respect have a nice Christmas.

  2. I dunno. In my experience the celebrations that we have at solstice (at least these days) can never be as dark as the ones we have at Calan Gaeaf (Samhain/Halloween).

    At Calan Gaeaf, you’re facing down the time of greatest death and darkness, and by solstice you are turning the corner back towards the light.

    The last couple of years, I’ve celebrated solstice with a druid who’s been helping me out over the last few years. We go to her house, and at at some point she puts a bowl full of sand and a bunch of candles on the floor and turns out all the lights. That moment of darkness is a time to reflect on the year that has gone, and on what we want for the one that is to come. She then lights the big central candle, and (keeping our desires for the coming year in mind) each of us takes a candle and lights it from the one in the middle.

    I cannot explain to you what wonderful, warm sense of joy that one moment gives me, even when I’m surrounded by a lot of people that I barely know, or don’t really agree with.

    The day after, Dylan and I travelled 400 miles south to see my family for ‘Christmas’ and it has been a constant tirade of television, adverts, endless Christmas songs, buying, cooking, eating, nagging and arguing.

    I know which one I’d rather be celebrating.

    Mind you, the fact that I’ve been reading and re-reading ‘Days of War…’ over the last week probably didn’t help either.

  3. I was reflecting yesterday afternoon at the irony of Christmas, whilst surrounded by a bunch of fairly conservative christian folk (at someone else’s family event, where I was moral support).
    This is the day when hordes of capitalists pull out all the stops on their attempts to buy happiness and fulfillment for themselves and others, all in the name of celebrating the birthday of a mystical pacifist enemy of the state.
    I wish Jesus were here to see this shit, he’d be wicked pissed.

  4. Allegra: Yeah, I suppose I should ask the practicing pagan about such things! I do still feel like society put a holiday at the start of winter, on the darkest day of the year, basically to be like “uhm, let’s be happy!” instead of wallowing in despair.

  5. Dea: you got a waffle maker. Your family must know you so well, since you, last time I checked, don’t have a home. Wow.

    I got a black hoodie and my grandma knit me a hat.

  6. It’s funny. When my kid at worked asked me what I want for Hannuka, my first answer was, “an end to oppression.” After about 3 or 4 times of asking me, he glared at me and said, “why can’t you want things!”

    I feel like I don’t have the same kind of ties to this time of year that many of my friends who were raised christian do. Since Hannuka never necessarily hit the same time of year, some times it’s in November, some times January, I don’t feel as caught up in the emotions.

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