Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Aftermath



We had a nice Christmas- the kind full of family, fun, and food. 
Ever since my parents left and we moved we haven't exactly had traditional or typical Christmases. This year was no exception. That always makes holidays kind of weird when you don't keep to your traditions. New house, new people, new activities. There's not a lot of sentimental value left, you know? Christmas morning is not all that exciting when there aren't little Santa-believers anxious to open presents.
It gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on the importance of holidays and holy days. I think I really would prefer it if we really did treat our two actual holy days as real holy days. Commercialism keeps Easter and Christmas alive, for which I am grateful. But I could live without all of the commercialism, right down to gift-giving, caroling, etc. I would much prefer a real, true, actual holy celebration, even if it only lasted 1-2 days.  Other cultures and religions truly celebrate "holy days," with the emphasis on the holy rituals. But somehow, at least in the States and most Western countries, our most holy of days have become commercial enterprises.  I really would like a true "holy day" to respect and honor, if only to rededicate myself to my religion more.
I think my feelings are all compounded by my age, not having my own family or children, and not necessarily looking forward to my extended family's activities. I feel like I am still living in someone else's world, waiting for my chance to do things my way. I could live without all of it. If it were all up to me I wouldn't toss aside the gift-giving traditions of the holiday, or stop spending time with family. But I would prefer to spend at least some of the day in service, or at church, really doing something to honor the meaning of the day, and spend less time icing and eating cookies that aren't that good.
I find myself looking for meaning and substance, and not finding enough of it.  All the forced gift-giving just isn't who I am. I'd rather give a meaningful and needed gift, rather than all the little trinkets and doo-dads to so many acquaintances.
Don't get me wrong. I have had a lovely and enjoyable holiday. I'm grateful for the gifts I've received and the time I've spent with family. But I can't help but wonder if I will ever get the chance to celebrate holidays and holy days in my own special way?

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that Christmas is really our most holy of days. It didn't become a national holiday until 1860. Most of the traditions are pagan and predate Christianity.
    Check it out - The True Origin of Christmas - http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html

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  2. In my case Christmas was spread over the two days prior. This was done to accommodate families racing all over the country so that grand parents can have have their specific Christmas with grand kids. Your right though, todays Christmas seems to have lost allot of the magic that was felt 20 years ago. Perhaps age, being single and no kids might have changed theperception. But even the family gathering has become a logistical nightmare of Indy racing proportion. I do miss the old traditions.

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