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.