Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Schmolidays* are for BonnetHeads**

It's that time.  The time when holidays are crammed into our brains and our faces and our noses and our mouth holes.  It's the Schmolidays.

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!

13 comments:

  1. I grew up in the chicago suburbs and there is seriously NO prettier place (not even NYC!) around the holidays. I wish I could go there every night just to look at the lights!

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  2. LOL loved this one!!!
    a little fact you might find interesting: jesus could not have been born in december. you know the part of the story where it describes the shepherds out in their fields with their sheep? well, in that area it would have been too cold and they wouldn't have been out there. early christians changed it to december in order to coincide with the pagan celebration of winter solstice... or something along those lines.. christ is actually thought to have been born some time in october LOL

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  3. Love the response to your mother! We should all think that way and not worry about the afterlife. I'm here, right now.

    I would love a simple holiday, but Christmas and more recently Hanukkah has blown up around my house... like every holiday through the year we have lost sight of what it actually means.

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  4. From Unknown Google because I don't know how to change it, good for you, IWADB!

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  5. You and your LHOTP make me feel all warm and snuggly inside. I love Christmastime- absolutely for non-religious reasons. It's special to me, and I don't care if that seems hypocritical. Do you ever have trouble reconciling your non-religiousness with AA teachings?

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  6. AA is about finding a higher powe. Not religion. Doesn't ever have to be defined, just believe in something other than just yourself. So to answer, no conflict today. Took me a while though. ;)

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  7. Also I stopped fighting it. People who say AA is religious or they can't handle the god thing in my opinion use it as an excuse. There are plenty of us atheists and agnostics in the rooms.

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  8. Well, In my once serious religious beliefs, we believed that "Christmas" was the Catholics way of making conversion to their ways easier for the common folk. If they had festivals that were similar to our older traditions there would be less of a resistance. This Holiday was called "Yule" and it simply marked the celebration that began with beckoning the sun to return and bring Spring. It started on the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice. Anywho, pretty much the way I look at it is, all religions have their own version and the common theme is coming together with family and friends, giving in a time of greater need than other times during the year because it's cold and people are broke and the rest is just glitter that makes it pretty. Nothing wrong with that! I have finally come out of my scroogedom this year and gotten in the "Christmas" spirit out of sheer nostalgia and love for my childhood. You are not a hypocrite and you are not alone! Let the Christians believe it belongs to them...it gives them hope and as we say "whatever works for them".... Let the Catholics believe it belongs to them as they gave it it's name....let the pagans believe it belongs to them as they started it so far as history shows, I say it belongs to human kind as a time to celebrate life and closeness and coming together during the darkest time of the year. Love you woman! (Amy Blythe)

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  9. I am SO with you. But I married a VERY religious man, so I have to be careful to keep my snarky comments in check (even if I think they are TRUE and not snarky). I used to refuse any cards that said "christmas" or some other reference, but it is so important to my husband I just gave up the fight. Like you said I enjoy tradition and just being with family - so might as well just go along with what I can - everyone know my beliefs by now, anyways. And my husband is good about not pressing his religion on me - per se, with the exception of begging me to ask for forgiveness before i die so we can be together in heaven. Even though I don't even believe in heaven, i just say ok, since it is such a sweet thing for him to say.

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  10. Amanda, and I'm... a lot of things...December 8, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Thanks for the reminder about the possibility of still falling into the tree...but this time it won't be because I am drunk out of my mind and no one will quietly pity me...this year, if I fall, its because I have been and always will be a klutz. And thats cool.
    About the Christmas thing - I felt like a hypocrit celebrating once I found my own HP...then, just as you reminded me, someone told me to "Quit thinking about it so much and just enjoy it." So I do. Ah, the blessings of this life of sobriety...

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  11. My name is Amanda and I'm...gratefulDecember 8, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Thanks for the reminder about the possibility of still falling into the tree...but this time it won't be because I am drunk out of my mind and no one will quietly pity me...this year, if I fall, its because I have been and always will be a klutz. And thats cool.
    About the Christmas thing - I felt like a hypocrit celebrating once I found my own HP...then, just as you mentioned, someone told me to "Quit thinking about it so much and just enjoy it." So I do. Ah, the blessings of this life of sobriety...

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