My Take on Holidays

Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is on it’s way. In preparation for a Christmas party for our home-school group (a Christian based group) I made a cake and posted the picture on Facebook. It was a doll cake, and she was meant to be an angel. It brought up lot’s of theological and Biblical/Torah comments that kind of angered me. Okay, not “kind of”, they did make me angry. Its one time of many in recent weeks where I am forced to see the conformity complex in people. It applies to all religions, all beliefs,  one’s own personal ideas of morality and right and wrong. What we believe is part of us, and how can we believe something and think we are right and not try to make others conform to our way of looking at things? For, to allow them to believe something different, to think different from oneself, would imply that maybe one’s beliefs and ideals may not be entirely correct. Thus, many feel they must instill their ideals and beliefs in others, correcting and teaching them the “right things”. None of us are immune to  this tendency; it’s very human, but being on the receiving end gets irksome at times. This is very apparent during holiday times, especially Christmas in my experience.

I’m not sure if I can get this to come out right, but sometimes you have to let people make their own choices and allow lightness in life. Standing up for your beliefs and ideals is well and good, and there has to be a commonly accepted code of conduct, or morality, in all societies or they will fall apart. In fact, it is impossible for a group to avoid creating a moral code. The moral code may not be what another societies moral code is, but one will always be there. Each will feel their code to be right, and when expanding boundaries and intersecting with other societies, each will attempt to impose their own moral code on the others. It is inevitable, but it is also frustrating. Today the world has developed a basic moral code of conduct and acceptable beliefs held over most of the globe. Within our society are elements that disagree, but still recognize that in our system of morality each individual is allowed to have some difference of opinion as long as it doesn’t interfere with the major laws on morality in our society.

Christmas, like Halloween, is one of the most debated issues today within the religious society. I know my Bible, I have read the Torah. I have read portions of the Koran, and I have researched the history of “Pagan”(see note below) holidays. And you know what? Most holidays throughout all countries, and all religions and times, tend to form around certain times of year. No matter how you look at it, someones toes are going to get stepped on. Within Christianity and Messianic Jews, there is intense debate on the morality of celebrating on certain days. And then there is the debate between the groups that consider the holidays their personal religious holidays and those who just find it a nice day to do something fun. A common phrase the last few years is “keep the “Christ” in Christmas”. And the opposite side, “Christ never was in Christmas”.  Halloween; “It’s evil! If you do it your worshiping Saten!” and “It’s just a  fun time doing something with my kids”.  Easter and the bunny vs. the death and resurrection of Christ. I am getting quite fed up with it all, and of each sides ideas being imposed on me and my family!  Frankly, I think I should be able to choose what I am doing on each day of the year. If I want to worship my God and celebrate His birth on July 4th, no one needs be bothered. It’s just a day in a long stream of them that we made a calendar for so we could keep track of our lives and have a system of records.  Holidays and celebrations can have personal meaning, and they can also just be a day to do something fun with our family and friends. Just because a “nation”, a “society”, puts a word on a calendar doesn’t mean everyone has to acknowledge it. If you are morally opposed to enjoying a day off, go ahead, but don’t expect everyone else to look at it the same way. All the big to-do over any holiday stems from marketing anyway, an opportunity for savvy business people to make money off you. Birthday cards, flowers, gifts, trees, special food…. True beliefs and celebration are in the heart and held close, not written on a calender.

Personally, I choose to celebrate as often as possible and use the nation’s scheduled holidays to spend time with my family. I can give them any meaning I wish, and for school I teach our children the different histories of the days. I will not be a fart and forget that  joy and imagination make us ALIVE! And life is SHORT!!! Live hard, work hard, and play hard, because eventually you won’t be doing any of it on this earth. Each day, in my book, is special, and I wasted too much of it worrying about the inconsequential issues like the “origins” of a day of the week or year. My heart and soul are at peace, and even better, I can be happy, something too many people are not. I am celebrating Christmas this year. I have a tree (2 actually), and I have angels with wings that are female, and I made Christmas cookies with my kids, and I am not going to get mad if someone says “Happy Holidays” to me instead of “Merry Christmas”. I am going to tell my children the gift my God made and what He means to me, and I am going to explain that not everyone feels the same. My children know that Mom and Dad play “Santa”, and the know about Joulupukki. I do not feel I should have to defend myself from others for these beliefs, for I have my own and they will not be swayed; they are my beliefs! I hold them close and to be right. To me, if you don’t agree with them, you are wrong by my standards, but your welcome to keep your beliefs and I won’t interfere. If you ASK me what I think, I will tell you, but you don’t have to accept it. Nor will I get on the bandwagon claiming everyone should celebrate a certain day my way or that a day or celebration belongs to me or my religion and no one has a right to do something different that day. And that is my take on the holidays.

*Note:

Pagan~

1. An adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity, especially when viewed in contrast to an adherent of a monotheistic religion.
2. A Neopagan.
3. Offensive

a. One who has no religion.
b. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
4. A hedonist.
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About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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9 Responses to My Take on Holidays

  1. LindaG says:

    True beliefs and celebration are in the heart and held close
    Amen.
    Have a blessed Sunday. ♥

  2. Denise says:

    You have brought up many good points!

  3. jill says:

    Where did you come up with the definition of pagan?

    • Oops, forgot to post the link. It was in thefreedictionary.com

      • jill says:

        “The term pagan is from the Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning “rural”, “rustic” or “of the country.” As a noun, paganus was used to mean “country dweller, villager.” The semantic development of post-classical Latin paganus in the sense “non-Christian, heathen” is unclear.
        Contemporary Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Hellenic polytheism, Celtic or Germanic reconstructionism as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Discordianism, or Wicca and its many offshoots.” — Wikipedia
        As a pagan I totally disagree with the definition in the dictionary. We are not without religion – we celebrate the sacred in everything and everyone. And Hedonism is a BRANCH of paganism – not the entire group. It’s like saying all Christians are Catholic – not true.
        We do not worship the devil – we don’t even believe in Satan – he’s a product of the Christian church. We are the original green folks – we believe in taking care of the earth and all it’s inhabitance including the people and animals therein. Non-violence is our way – not what you’ve heard in Hollywood movies. Yes, there are weirdo’s out there that claim to be pagan – every religion has them. Ours seem to get more attention than other religions because they seem to prove the stereotype that the movies have projected. We also seem to attract a lot of odd folk because we are tolerant.
        I have an 8-5 job at a computer software company. I don’t wear weird clothes, my hair is the color I was born with (well, except for the grey that is now sneaking in), I don’t look any different than everyone else here at work. I pay my taxes, I follow the rules, I do my very best to be a nice person to myself and others – you would probably not be able to pick me out of a group.
        Sorry this has turned into a rant – that wasn’t my intent. It just bugs me that the dictionary does not have a decent definition of Pagan. As one, I hear this all the time. I agree wholeheartedly with your original post – this time of year has become something that it was never meant to be. We feel so much pressure to do this and say that and decorate this way. I would be happy if it would all just go back to the way it was 100 years ago – modest and personal. Everyone celebrates in the way they want and if they want.
        Me, I think the most important thing about this time of year is to spend it with the people you love. I will be spending it with all my children and my fiancé at our home in St. Louis. My hope is in the coming years to have our farm up and running and be able to spend the holidays in the country. Being near the land and the people and animals that live there and enjoying the beauty that surrounds our Ozark property has been a dream of mine for many years and having my family close by to share it with – well, I think I just about have everything I need. 
        Happy Holidays and a Bright New Year to you and yours.

        • Sorry it bugged you Jill. I thought the definition I found included all of it fairly concisely, which is why I chose it. Pagan gets used so many ways, and, like many old, old words, the meaning has changed over the years. I find it as derogatory as the universal Christian being used for all branches of that faith, so I guess we agree! They are both “blanket” words I guess. Your country home sounds wonderful, by the way. I love the Ozarks and would live there in a heartbeat if I could! I hope your holiday season is full of joy and love 🙂 And thanks for sharing your take and feelings on this post.

          • jill says:

            Thanks for understanding – I don’t usually get so riled up but I guess it’s this time of year when everything is so stressful. I have been following your blog because we sound like we have a lot in common. I want to have goats, chickes and rabbits on our farm once we get going there. Right now we are still in the building process of our house. My fiance is a woodworker so we have built a 30 x 40 metal building that will house his woodworking shop on the first floor and our appartment on the second floor. We have a wonderful old stone house on the property that unfortunately is falling down so we plan to gut it and rebuild it with cordwood and stone from the property. We will eventually live there and rent out the appartment – maybe to a farm hand. 🙂

            • Wow, your future home sounds so wonderful! What a blessing to have a carpenter for a husband, too. We do a lot of trading for special work, especially the electrical stuff. I need to go check out your blog; it seems I hardly have time to keep up with mine, much less visit everyone, but I love seeing what others are doing too!

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