I have noticed a trend in the pagan/polytheistic communities where people tend to say that when their Christian families stop doing Christmas, so will they. I find this trend kind of curious, myself. It’s possible that since I do have a child who has been infected with the Christmas bug (mildly, though) that this is why I tend to find the trend interesting and a little odd, but I don’t think it’s just my parenting that has to do with it. I know other pagan parents who do not do the Christmas spiel with their children, Christian type families or otherwise. So, I wonder if it’s just an attempt to distance themselves from the Christian hype and wanting to bring their children up in a pure pagan environment or something else?
I don’t, in all honesty, understand the lure here.
It’s possible that I’ve been destroyed by my upbringing. As a child, I was raised a Methodist with a vague Catholic background due to my mother and her family. However, the holiday was inherently secular in our household. There was a Santa Claus and my mother would put up the Nativity scene each year, but aside from that and a possible part in the Boar’s Head Festival at the Methodist church, there really wasn’t too much of a religious feel behind the holiday. My maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would do the whole Catholic mass thing and whatnot, but that was entirely foreign to me. And while I enjoyed putting up the Nativity scene when we were decorating for Christmas (not because of its religious overtones but because I wanted it to look perfect), Christmas just never held a religious tone for what we celebrated. It was purely secular in every sense of the word.
I think it is this that leads me to still willingly and lovingly celebrate the holiday. I do enjoy the feels (though they’ve been absent the last two years due to monetary stresses) that this holiday can invoke within me. I feel joy and contentment, I feel happy and thrilled. And some of the more beautiful stories about how great people can be because of this holiday have always been something that I associated intrinsically with Christmas. (I’d like to see beautiful things like that all the time, but I’m also a bit of a realist and realize that humans are assholes a lot of the time.) While I do honor the Yule holiday with a little something each year – this year was magic – and I wish those who celebrate a happy Establishment of the Celestial Cow, a happy Saturnalia, and so forth, I still celebrate Christmas. And willingly.
Personally, I will continue to celebrate the Christmas holiday throughout the years. A part of this is because of my son and the families that I am a part of, mine as well as TH’s. I will admit that it seems a little wrong of me to take away such a fantastic, present-laden holiday from my son who enjoys the whole Santa thing and the present-getting. And while removing it from our celebratory calendar could end up with my Christmas Baby having a real birthday (he was born on Christmas Eve), I think it’s okay that we don’t really celebrate his birthday but he’s showered with love and affection (and gifts) because of Christmas. While I will admit that some holiday traditions – sitting on Santa’s lap, for one – are not a part of my household, the tree and ornaments, the glitz and glitter of decorating are all still a part of my traditions and will be a part of my son’s traditions as well.
And of course, as the years go by, I can’t help but get thrilled by the prospect of seriously spoiling the hell out of any grandchildren I may have…
So, I ask anyone reading this to give me their feelings on it. Why do you want to stop celebrating the holiday? Is it due to a childhood rife with religious connotations? Is it because you want to distance yourself from the predominant Christian culture? Why is it that you feel the need to distance yourself from this holiday?