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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

I don’t believe that it’s Jesus’ birthday, but I do like Christmas nonetheless.

I don’t believe that a baby was born to a virgin travelling to Bethlehem. Moreover, even if Matthew (or more likely a later compiler and translator of Matthew’s work) had not added this bit to tie Jesus to messianic traditions but instead had been reported a true (or true-ish) story, it would still have taken place in the spring, not at winter solstice.

I don’t believe that fir trees, chubby white-bearded men in red costumes, flying reindeer, or hard-working elves, have anything to do with Jesus either.

But I like that just about every culture and tradition has created some way of celebrating hope in darkness, the time when nights are at their longest but start getting shorter again (which in the southern hemisphere happens in June, not December, of course). I like that we can celebrate during the same period Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, Rohatsu, Bodhi Day, a slew of other “Christian” holidays that used to be more important until the 20th century (St. Sylvester, Epiphany, etc.), and nowadays Kwanzaa (and Muslim holidays when they roll around to a convenient date along the lunar cycle).

I wish we took more advantage of this to celebrate together rather than fight, but we’re not so good at sharing, least of all sharing peace and good will. But every year those of us paying attention can get a glimmer of it, “if only in our dreams” as Bing Crosby would croon.

I like giving presents, especially those I can make myself. I like putting thought into something I hope will make a loved one happy. I like the symbolic light in the middle of the night. I like people genuinely bringing good cheer and children genuinely marvelling at the season. Yes, I hate the fakery, the commercialism, the too-worldly and mercenary children, the feverish hope that people will spend “enough”, but I’m not willing to let these dictate how I should feel about the holidays.

Happy holidays! I’ll be thinking of you.

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Copyright 2004 Sophie Lagacé

Happy holidays to all — I’m late for holy Eid el-Adha and bright Solstice.

But I am still in time for happy Hanukah, happy Pancha Ganapati (barely), merry Christmas, happy Kwanzaa, peaceful Muharram, happy New Year, and best wishes for peace, prosperity, and joy to all.

As for the lone Christmas ornament, it’s just something I came across the day after Christmas 2004, taking a walk along the shore in “sunny Sequim”, Washington.  Someone had left the little guy hanging on a branch of driftwood among the berries.

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Thankful

It’s fall the end of the harvest season, the beginning of the holiday season, and the time to remember our reasons to be grateful. In Canada, we had our own Thanksgiving a few weeks ago (there isn’t as much to feel grateful for in Canada in November — it’s cold, wet, biting and dark.) In the U.S., Thanksgiving is tomorrow.

First off, I’m grateful for getting back on my feet and finding a new rewarding job after losing my employment of nine years this summer. I’m grateful to my husband, family, and friends who gave support and encouragement when times were bad. I’m grateful I learned and grew through the experience. I’m grateful for my new colleagues and the warm welcome I’ve received.

I’m grateful my family pulled together in love and dignity when my father passed away in May. I’m grateful for the heritage of principles and good memories dad left us.

I’m grateful the U.S. voters moved away from the last eight dark years. I’m grateful the new team seems to have a clue.

I’m grateful Humboldt is still a place that feels humane and warm and genuine. I’m grateful it’s brimming with natural beauty and still somewhat protected.

Most of all, I’m grateful for my husband.

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