I’m writing this post from my new tablet keyboard, bought for me by my wife for Xmas.
This was my first Xmas with my new in-laws, and it was weird. I have only ever celebrated this holiday with my own family or my wife. I have never done anything for this holiday with anyone else’s family for any reason. But this year, we did Thanksgiving with my family, so we did Xmas with hers.
I’m here today to talk mostly about how strange families are and how odd a holiday based on pagan traditions with the name and face of Christianity is.
I’ll start with families. This family has traditions that are different than my family’s traditions, which pretty much makes sense. For example, my family opens stockings Xmas eve. This family opens everything Xmas morning. Not much of a difference really, just a few hours. But it makes a difference when you’re used to one thing and end up getting something else. I certainly miss my family today, more than I expected to. I’m hoping that we can go see them today, even.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about (which I think about pretty much every year) is the oddity of this holiday in general. I write Xmas for exactly the reason that conservative Christians are worried about. I’m trying, actively, to take Christ out of Christmas. Knowing that the origins of this beloved holiday are predominately pagan, I am acutely uncomfortable with any Christian aspects of it. I don’t like the songs that talk about the star or the three wise men or baby Jesus in the manger. I like the ones that talk about sleigh rides and snow men and even Santa. I don’t put an angel on top of my tree, or even a star. I try to stay true to the origins of the holiday, especially since I lean towards paganism myself.
My wife and I have talked this year about what we want to do for a tree next year, when we will hopefully have a little more room. We’ve been talking about doing a little extra research and making a wiccan tree, or something that more accurately reflects how we both feel about the whole thing. With more planning than this year (we bought our tiny, pre-lit tree on impulse one day), this seems like a totally achievable goal.
Which brings me back to the family thing. I’m a little worried about how my wife and I are going to start our own family traditions with all of the traditions of both our families looming over us. I’ve never really thought about how married couples start their own traditions. It must be something that every new little family does, but it’s not one of the things that people talk about when they talk about new families. Maybe it’s supposed to be easy and just happen naturally. It’s definitely something I’m going to need to talk about with my wife.
I hope your holiday, whatever and however you celebrate, is as nice as mine has been.