Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yours,Mine,Ours...

Photo: ... and Merry Christmas too! : )


(design by Cathy Rodgers)




Merry Christmas, my Beloveds!

Yes, I went there!  So, what's the big deal?  Well, for some...it's a HUGE deal!  It's politically incorrect to wish some people a Merry Christmas.  Many people don't celebrate Christmas, so the term, "Happy Holidays" was adopted.  But is that correct, really?  Aren't we just presuming that everyone who we wish this greeting upon is happy?  I know many people who don't find the holiday happy at all. It's filled with painful memories and/or grief.  And yet, it's appropriate at this time of year to bestow this greeting upon them, despite how they might feel about it.

This is true of the Pagan community as well.  At this time of year, we have the usual, albeit good-hearted and amusing, disagreement of the origins of Christmas.  Who's holiday was it first?  Well, some historians tell us that it was originally the Roman Pagan holiday of Saturnalia which was, admittedly, about 8 days of complete and utter debauchery.  I'm certain that's a lot funnier now, than it was then.  At some point however, the holiday was Christianized to include the Pagan holiday, and the birth of Christ was celebrated on December 25th as Christmas.  The rest is and should be history, but it's not.

I am not a scholar on the origins of Christmas.  Yes, I know it's origins were Pagan, but more than that, I have not a rat's ass to give.   Pagans celebrate Yule at the Winter Solstice on the 21st of December.  We have a Christmas tree and a visit from Santa at our Yule celebration.  Our Clan children, who are being raised by Pagan parents, are excitedly awaiting a visit from Santa on Christmas morning, just as are most Christian children.  On Christmas morning, many of us wish our friends, Pagan, Christian, Jewish, etc., a "Merry Christmas".  Is it "politically incorrect?'  In my opinion, it's the intention and sentiment that matters, not by what words you choose to deliver the well wishes.

Despite popular belief, Pagans are not "anti-Christ" or anti-Christmas".  Many of us incorporate the Christmas holiday into our Pagan lives out of respect for our Christian family members, respect for Deity or just because it's the Season O' Joy! Dammit!

Let's face it, no matter when, where or for whom the holiday is celebrated, one can not deny the magic of the Season.  It's the Return of the Light, both literally and spiritually.  It's the time when family and friends draw closer, people treat each other a little kinder and are more thankful for what they have and for those in our lives.

So, who's holiday is it?  It belongs to the heart whom it touches.

In Darkness, Light!


Tracy
    




4 comments:

Deborah Lipp said...

Dude, I think you have a lot of this wrong. First of all, contrary to what they say on Fox News, "Happy Holidays" isn't a recent coinage for purposes of political correctness. Its original meaning was "Happy Christmas, Advent, and New Years."

And when you *wish* someone "Happy Holidays," you're saying you *wish* that their holidays turn out to be happy ones, you're not presuming that they're already happy, just like, when you say "Have a good day," you're not presuming the day has already been good. It's imparting good wishes.

But you also weren't raised as a minority in a majority culture. Yes, when someone wishes me Merry Christmas with good intentions, I accept their good intentions and their good wishes. But I was also that Jewish kid who knew that I was always left out of the celebration; that it wasn't for me.

What HARM does it do to be inclusive? What PROBLEM is there in opening your heart EVEN BIGGER and saying Happy Holidays so that the Jews and the Muslims and the Pagans and the Humanists and the Buddhists and the Hindus can all feel the inclusive love?

Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood said...

Ok, let me expand on this because it may have come out differently than I'd intended. I have no problem with the all inclusive use of the term, "Happy Holidays", if in fact, its used at the discretion of the person extending the greeting. However, when I hear that certain stores "require" their employees to use the phrase or when I read that the Veteran's Administration will not accept cards that read "Merry Christmas" or "God Bless You" or when schools are required to remove their Christmas, Hanukkah and Yule displays because someone finds one of those things offensive, I think the entire point of extending good tidings for whatever holiday one celebrates, becomes entirely lost in the fear that someone will be unintentionally offended.

As far as wishing one a "happy holidays" or "Merry Christmas" when you are aware that for some this will not be the case, is often worse than not wishing it at all. As we both know, some find the holidays very difficult. It often more stressful to try to find joy when there isn't any. At least, this is what I was trying to get across.

That being said, my problem was less with that and more with the argument over the origins of Christmas and the who's holiday was it first. Many things originate earlier practices,so I don't believe we "own" the holiday because it has Pagan beginnings.

I wasn't really brought up in a devout Christian family, so I always thought the kids who celebrated Hanukkah were so luckly to receive gifts for 8 nights. I felt sorry for the Jehovah's Witness kids, who didn't celebrate at all.

Deborah said...

A lot of the stories of what's allowed and not allowed are fiction spun by Fox News.

That said, why should schools be the place for religious holidays?

Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood said...

They don't belong in schools. However, they were all fine until someone decided to be offended by them. I just think the entire thing has become an over thought-out hot mess!