Like just about everyone these days, I have a love-hate relationship with the Schmolidays.
I love that in Chicago, really the ONLY place to celebrate, it's cold and snowy and beautifully lit.
I love that I am in a loving relationship these days and don't feel lonely or sad or missing out as I used to during this time.
I love that I don't have to go to church anymore. It's true. What can I say, my inner heathen has won against the rest of my family's Christian traditional ways of churching on xmas eve. I am grateful I no longer have to endure that hell. Partly because my family finally accepts - and quite lovingly stopped harassing me about it - that I'm not a christian anymore (dunked in the river newly baptised at 16!) and also because they moved to Arizona. They do a good job of loving me for who I am and not pushing me, TODAY. Obviously, they have been through a lot with me and probably figure as long as I'm sober they aren't going to push it. My mom used to tell me "I can't stand to think of being in Heaven without you." To which I replied, "well you will manage somehow and why don't we try to get the most of our time here instead or worrying about some unknown resting place". My eternal soul will take it's chances living a good and loving life here on earth one day at a time. I'm not going to rail on my family or Christianity. I respect my family too much for that.
So, in light of Jesus being the "reason for the season", I am conflicted. I celebrate the traditions of this holiday and yet, what is it's meaning for me, really? I don't celebrate the birth of a baby savior. What I do know is that it isn't about spending money and material things. But that is how I live my life anyway. I love freshly baked cookies and black coffee and kickin' holiday music along with the nostalgic holiday specials we watch year after year. I love the twinkling lights and the roaring fires and the glorious smell of pine. I do.
So how to reconcile that with not believing in the whole basis of this holiday? As with many things these days, I've stopped fighting it. I don't have to stand up against Christmas. It's not my job to declare how I feel about it. Even though that is exactly what I'm doing in this post, but you get the idea. I try my damnedest to live and let live. I celebrate the love and stay away from the dark as best I can. It's part of how I live the 12 steps.
The whole debate of Happy Christmas vs. Happy Holidays exhausts me. Believe whatever you want to. Just don't expect that I won't do the same. I want to have a happy holiday. I want you to have a happy holiday. I am doing my best not to set foot in an actual store and deal with you. These seem like opposite notions. The holidays tend to be when the media tells us to love each other more. And yet, so much of this season is just gross and ugly.
This won't shock you. I want the Plum Creek Christmas. So badly. Simple and loving and beautiful. The Ingalls were so grateful for everything they had and any shitty present they received because they didn't know any better. I want that gratitude. I want that pure joy. I know it's a bygone time and all, but it's what I aspire too. I even don't mind their stupid little church and stupid little bible stories. Because it was a simple, non-combative and non-electric-guitar-laser-light-show time of churchiness.
Enjoy this Plum Creek Christmas. Pa and Ma are waiting for you by the fire with some coffee and pie. Oleson's Mercantile is open for new stoves - just don't tell Ma.
these are my definitions, not legal and binding.
*Schmolidays - snarky term for holidays
**BonnetHeads - big geeky fans of bonnets, LHOTP and prairie simpler times. you remember this one, right? Bring Back the Bonnet!