Happy Cholidays

Warning: I am going to offend anyone without a sense of humor. Particularly my Born-Again friends. If I have any. Not sure I do. Anway.... I have always wondered about something. Nothing I can find, in any of the literature or song, says you better be christian or Santa won't come to your house. You have to be nice, not cry, not shout...but since when is Santa an anti-semite? We have a lovely holiday winter solstice tree in our house filled with angels. Yep. Angels. They all say "every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings". Because we are non-practicing unitarians in the desert, the tree isn't real, and the angels are promotional items from my all time favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition) and we fill the house with all holiday music all the time.

I love this time of year. I love singing Lennon's Happy Christmas at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down my face. I love hanging cookies with 5 pounds of frosting on the tree, courtesy of my daughters. I thought as they grew older their holiday cookie art would become, shall we say, more refined and lighter on the sugar, it hasn't.

I love looking out my window to see twinkling lights all through the neighborhood, with the occasional blown up santa on a porch or in some cases the roof! And like any neighborhood, we do have our share of Griswold wanna-be yards. You have heard of the Griswolds, haven't you?

What I don't love are the people who ask stupid questions. "Why do you celebrate Christmas? You're not even Christian?" Or "Do you really light Chanukkah Candles next to the Christmas Tree? "What do you call that, a Chanukkah Bush?" And my all time favorite comment... "we would have invited you to our Christmas Party, but well...youuuu know..."

No. I don't know. Explain it to me. Better yet. I'll explain it to you. Many years ago in a town far far away, actually, in many little villages all over the northern hemisphere, people needed to get a little break in the cold of winter so they had a little winter solstice celebration. As time went on, and formal religions started to take hold, these celebrations were considered heretical and pagan and NOT ALLOWED. By the late 1600's, in colonial times, you put up holiday decorations you were asking to be shunned. Because, and I hate to break the news to you, the "Christmas" tree isn't about Christianity at all. Some say it was a pagan ritual to the god of agriculture. So months later, as spring came, their crops would be, shall we say, blessed.

We all know that Jesus was not born in the winter. Pleaaaase. Common knowledge. Particularly among his people, we the JEWS. We were there you know. In fact, as disturbing as this news is, Jesus WAS a Jew. He wasn't anything other than Jewish until he died. And let's face it, he didn't choose to be a Christian. Kind of just got labeled by his grieving posse, wouldn't you say?

So why celebrate his birthday during the Pagan festival???? Why, to remove the Pagan influence! What better way than to borrow a holiday celebration. Which is why for centuries, the traditions of that holiday were banned. Too Pagan. But after awhile, people said hey! We want what they have, and thus our very own form of Christmas was born. Hallelujah we can have a tree. Fine. Have your tree. Just don't insinuate that I can't have mine.

Now let's talk about the music. Christmas songs are all about Jesus and giving and holiness, so why should I get to enjoy them if I don't believe? I do believe. Yes as Josh Groban sings it so well... I doooo Believe. Oh wait. He's singing about Polar Bears and Magical holidays. ooops. My Bad.

OK, then, White Christmas. This is not a song about an old snowy haired bearded gentleman. It's a love triangle in New England. How about Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, an annual classic which truly in my mind reflects the underlying spirit of the season. If you can find the deep religious significance in that one I'll give you the whole freaking holiday!

All I am saying is this. I respect your right to believe whatever you want and celebrate as you want. Just return the favor. I believe this is a wonderful, joyous time of year where people do good things for all the right reasons instead of the wrong ones. Well, most anyway. So let's all agree to live and let celebrate. And quit treading on my holiday spirit.

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