I've always felt out of sync with what the rest of the world is doing. Caused me some angst when I was younger, but as an adult I have made my piece. For the most part, I just do not get American culture, in terms of fads and "what everyone else is doing".
And so, here, once again "THE HOLIDAYS" are upon us. And, I have come to a few realizations about what this whole time of year means to me.
1. I am really in tune with the earth at this time of year. Perhaps it is because I am a winter baby, born at the end of December. Anyway, for me, this next month is a time of going within. Not in a "omg.I.am.so depressed, don't want to get out of bed" kind of way, but in a "leave me alone I want to just go within and be still and listen and be" kind of way. Let me tell you - it is difficult to achieve that when all around me is the frenzy of "buy, buy, buy". When did the holidays become something that causes so much stress and business?
**Let me insert a disclaimer here. I am not judging. If you are someone who gets up at the asscrack of dawn to indulge in Black Friday and shops til you drop and loves to buy lots of presents, well bless your little heart. All I can say is I hope you are kind to the poor underpaid retail staff who have to work.**
2. I really do love Christmas. I love the lights. I love the story of the birth of Jesus, even though I respect it for what it is - a story, be it real or not - but this is really what the Christmas holiday is all about and to me, it is enchanting. As a kid we had this homemade manger - it had tree bark on it even! And every year we would set it up on the buffet thing in the dining room (long piece of furniture) and I would get to place all the animals and wise men and Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus any way I liked. The manger had a loft and a ladder and I would put straw up there for them to sleep, and lots of straw in the manger. It had a light socket for a colored bulb and I would change the color every few days. Let me tell you this, I loved this more, and got more entertainment out if this than any Barbie playhouse piece of plastic.
3. So even though I am not even remotely Christian, for me the holidays are about this story. I love when neighbors put up mangers. It saddens me when towns can't do this anymore because they are vandalized.
4. If people want to have a 2 month long period of time that is all about shopping and buying things, go for it. But do you have to call it Christmas? Especially w hen it is a faux pas to say Merry Christmas anymore? (Which for the record, I have decide this year I will no longer say "Happy Holidays". If you are Jewish, go ahead and which me a Happy Hanukkah. If you are African. a Happy Quanza)
If you are offended - oh well!
5. I am going to enjoy the next month. As the light continues to dwindle, and my energy levels are tuned into that, I am going to cocoon every chance that I get. On the solstice, the light returns. I will spend a week thinking about my intentions and goals for the coming year - the energy is returning and growing and it is time to plant the seeds.
6. It feels good to be different from the "norm".
7. Merry Christmas!