Merry Christmas 2013
That’s right. I, a Pagan, said “Merry Christmas.”
Why? Because it’s Christmas.
Like most modern Pagans I was raised in a Christian household, celebrating Christian holidays. To me, they are familiar and traditional (even though there were no hard and fast traditions in my family, other than tree decorating).
Now I live in a dual religion household: Pagan and Catholic.
I celebrate Winter Solstice with a feast and a ritual to celebrate the newborn Sun God and to welcome Him to the world.
She celebrates because the days are going to start getting longer (she hates winter) but it is primarily a secular thing for her.
We both celebrate Christmas with a gift exchange (and more food. I swear, all I do from Samhain through New Year’s is cook!)
The actual date of Christmas here varies, but will actually be on Christmas Day this year. (Holidays were always flexible in my family: my mother worked in a factory and would work holidays if it was offered. The last few years it’s been even worse: between organizing around work schedules, school schedules, and family schedules I could probably orchestrate supplies and troop movements for three different countries in the same war.)
For me, Christmas is a secular celebration. I love the decorations and the lights and even the music, (although I could do without having all of the above starting in October. Could we please just take one holiday at a time? Thanks!)
As for the religious aspect of Christmas, that doesn’t really crop up here. Perhaps because she’s not especially religious, or perhaps because she is aware that Christmas was created by the early Church to draw people of other religions to Christianity by putting a holy day on top of older celebrations.
And through the centuries that followed, older Pagan traditions have been added to “Christmas” until almost all (if not all!) “Christmas traditions” are Pagan in origin.
(The Puritans actually outlawed the celebration of Christmas because it was a Pagan holiday.)
No, I’m not hating on Christmas – like I said, I love the holiday. But I do wish that people would explore its history a bit more and not get so defensive thinking that there is a war on it.
And for those who do think there is some sort of “War on Christmas” you will be pleased to note that the holiday’s non-existent enemy is losing. I had some last-minute errands to run on Christmas Eve, and I heard “Merry Christmas” everywhere I went. Well, except for the Post Office and she was kind of grumpy and didn’t say much of anything at all. She wasn’t one of the regular window clerks so I’m guessing she got assigned to it for the holiday and wasn’t happy.
And, no, it didn’t bother me, and yes, I said “Merry Christmas” back to them. Like I said… it’s tradition.