Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reason for the season...

I've been posting a lot of secondhand stuff lately, just news articles, and quizzes, links to other places...At any rate, not a lot in the way of original content. I'd like to get back to more productive posts, get my muse fired up again. I've been having a lot of good ideas for fiction lately, and my hope is that blogging will help with that.
The title stems from a seasonal pet peeve of mine. Every year, as Halloween passes, and retail starts the push for Christmas, as time draws closer, the inevitable bickering begins between the Christians and the "non-believers", be they pagan or athiest, jewish or wiccan. The "look at me" Christians tend to start it by denouncing the commercialization of their Holy Day, and feel obligated to throw in a complaint about using the term, "holiday party" instead of Christmas party. The Wiccans feel compelled to rebut this with how the Catholic Church "stole" the festival from ancient pagan celebrations as a way to convert people to Christianity. This year, we had Asatruar pointing out how it was actually the old Roman Saturnalia that the church overran in their conversion of the heathens, and when they got to Northern lands, merely continued it, as it had proven a successful tactic once before. They also point out that Jesus could not possibly have been born in December, as the shepherds are described as still having sheep in the fields. (Thank you for the historical viewpoint. I love my Asatruar brethren, but sometimes we get our noses wedged so firmly in the history books that we tend to stumble over things.)
My point is, it doesn't matter what the "reason for the season" is in your particular viewpoint. Regardless of whom stole what from whom, or what you want to call it, this time of year has taken on a life of its own. Yule, 12 days, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzza, Festivus or Winter Solstice, is it too much to ask that we celebrate our particular flavor in private, and accept that not everyone celebrates in the same way? Is it too much to ask that we all resolve to be just a little bit more decent to one another? Not every day, mind you, I'm just saying, for a few weeks each year, maybe we could practice a little bit of tolerance, pull our noses out of other folks' business, and just wish them well, so long as they aren't physically harming us?
Instead of pulling down the pentacle decorations, or getting all eaten up inside over a manger scene, how about you start a quiet dialog with your neighbor who wears the funny robes and smells of incense? Or your coworker who went on a mission last year? If you can't do that, maybe just wish them well, in whatever manner comes naturally, be it Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or what have you. For those being greeted, if the greeting doesn't conform to your personal beliefs, could you just accept it in the manner it was given, which was someone wishing you well? Do we have to fight? Over something as silly as a ritual greeting? When I sneeze, and a Christian says, "bless you", it does not offend me. When I make a purchase at a local store, and the clerk tells me to have a "blessed day", I take it in the spirit it was given.
That's all I am saying, people. Be nice to one another, just for a little while. In a couple of weeks, this will all be over, and we can go back to sharpening the knives and lighting the fires under the oil pot.

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