Archives for: October 2006, 29

10/29/06

Permalink 07:00:00 am, by Email , 1610 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

DON'T PANIC... but I will be wishing you a Merry Christmas...

I know, I know... it's only October 29th, but I wanted to write this ahead of time... so that, when and if the time comes, I can simply "link" to it to let people know why I do the things I plan on doing.

Christmas

I whole heartedly admit to being somewhat of a politically correct guy... I try to consider all people's thoughts, beliefs, and traditions and not supercede my own in any way.

I do believe that all people, regardless of sex, spirituality, gender preference, race, or what have you should only be judged, if necessary, on their character and contributions to society as a whole... and I respect and enjoy other cultures and philosophies that aren't necessarily my own and try to learn from them and take what is good... and learn what I feel is bad (and why) and continue to educate myself.

Christmas

That said, 'round the end of December, I will be wishing friends, co-workers, and anyone a "Merry Christmas".

This, oddly enough, for me is not a case of jamming my religion down anyone's throat... far from it.

I was actually raised in an "agnostic" household... one that actually never preached to me about religion or religious beliefs... and I was allowed and actually somewhat encouraged to learn about as many faiths and spiritualities as I could... and decide what, if any, were best for me.

Christmas

I can pretty much claim to be a Catholic/Anglican/Protestant/Jew... as far as "official dogma" goes as I have experienced and been involved in ceremonies with all these churches... to date, I've not spent enough time in a Buddhist temple to qualify nor in a Mosque... but I do read about and ask about other faiths...

...and therefore, I'm agnostic... neither one nor the other and unsure as to any firm beliefs within myself to settle in any dogmatic belief structure.

That said, as a kid, we did have a Christmas tree and did exchange gifts and had a large dinner with friends and family on that day... actually, it was not unusual to celebrate from December 24th through the 26th with the big "Family Feast" being more on Boxing Day here in Canada.

Christmas

I will admit it... for us, the "Christ" in Christmas was more part of the word than anything else... we were aware and told of the religious significance of the time and the celebration of the birth of Christ, but we were mostly told that, if anything, it was a time to celebrate family and being together... a "fete" of simply being one with everyone else.

This was "Christmas" to me... and still is.

I liken it very much to All Hallow's Eve... or Samhain (again, folks, pronounced Sow-Win!) which did have deep significance in it's time... but to the average kid, Halloween is simply a time to "dress up", hear spooky stories, and go trick-or-treating for candy... the true religious and spiritual connection is there, but thoroughly mixed in with the modern trappings to such a point that, regardless of your upbringing, it's simply a time to have fun... with no dogmatic issues attached... and the vast majority of people in and around where I live understand this... and kids and adults "celebrate" simply being able to be a little silly... nothing else.

Christmas

As another thought in the same vein, I still call the months July and August... but don't venerate ancient Roman emperors as Gods during those months...

Well, when I say "Merry Christmas!" to someone, I'm NOT thinking, "Merry time of the birth of Jesus Christ upon this world and I hope you're celebrating this day for this lest you be a heathen-scum!" mostly because, to many devote Christians, my whole bit above about the "Christ" in Christmas simply being part of the word makes me a "heathen scum" to them!

Christmas

Nope, when I say "Merry Christmas!", I'm thinking of a time honoured tradition of gift giving, family gatherings, trappings of an ancient (and not-so-ancient) type that bring the joy of the season... even if you're possibly "sampling" and that season isn't for you and your faith.

My "Merry Christmas!" makes me think of old paintings of children playing in the snow... opening presents... a family eating a big meal... decorating a home... lights... songs...

Sure, some of that does have a religious connection... but what's wrong with the FEELING of what I described?

The warm glow of giving... the warmth of being surrounded by family... the feeling that on one lousy day, there's a sense of peace and togetherness...

Does the origins of this bother you?

I'm an agnostic... and it doesn't bother me a bit.

In fact, I'd be honoured to be wished a happy Ramadan... and I have been wished a Happy Chanukah and felt the spirit in which it was said...

...and yes, I do accept and occasionally wish people a Happy Hogomanay and Happy Saturnalia...

...and even more oddly to some, with the above said, I wouldn't be and am not at all insulted by these "alternative" greetings to my own faith and belief... again, I'm honoured to be included and that I was thought of.

Christmas

Just because there's a "spiritual" or religious background to something doesn't make it "bad" or "wrong" or even "ethno-centric" to enjoy it...

It will be Christmas...

...and I'll be wishing you, and everyone, MY version of Christmas... and hoping yours will be a merry one when the time comes.

Sure, Happy Holidays covers it all, but please, when the time comes, accept my wish of a Merry Christmas... as I'm wishing you the joys that I experienced during this time... and I'm not trying to force anything on you except my most heartfelt glad tidings.

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Oh, what prompted this?

Well, for one, it's a given that some nitwit somewhere will decry the "Satan Worship" or "Heathen" practice of Halloween... which is fast approaching.

Heck, last year, there was an "official" Toronto School Board memo asking the schools NOT to celebrate Halloween in respect not only of those of faiths that would find it "questionable", but to the Wiccan faith that would see it as a "tease" of their faith. This was VERY rapidly shot down (officially) and the head of the largest Wiccan group in Ontario said that he felt this was nonsense and fully supported the "normal" Halloween traditions. The TDSB quickly retracted and recanted the memo.

Trick-or-treating, really once only a North American thing, has now spread into Europe... and of course, last year again, the French government expressed "reservations" of people letting their children dress up and go door-to-door as it was "American" and they officially "discouraged" the practice. (From what I read, it didn't work...)

You see, no matter WHAT it's origins... it's enjoyable... and enjoyed... and to what harm?

Well, on Wednesday Sue and I received our usual copy of British Heritage Magazine... which had a very nice article on Christmas on London's Regent Street... and, with all the thoughts of the inevitable stupidity about Halloween from the closed-minded weenies who can't see the "fun" for their own "foolishness", it spurred this article... which, now that it's written, when someone complains to me that I DARED say, "Merry Christmas" to them, I can simply send the link... and let them know that no, I am not preaching the name "Christ"... I'm simply honouring a wonderful family and local tradition that, in my eyes, has superceded it’s origins into something that’s for everyone to enjoy... and with that, hopefully, they too can take from it what works for them.

...and in essence, I do believe that any real Christian, as I understand it, would be happy that, although a heathen, I am preaching good will towards my fellow humans... and the warmest of tidings to all.

...and should that offend you... well... considering it's intention, what else did you want from me?

"Oh, sorry, DON'T have a warm season surrounded by friends and family where gifts and glad tidings are exchanged... perhaps, for you, I wish missery, cold, lonliness, and a really rotten time! Is that better?

You may have a problem with some of the lyrics, but I like the music and any song that begins with the words "Joy To The World" can't be all bad in my eyes.

1803 Pattern British Infantry Sabre

...oh, and another thing that prompted these thoughts would NOT be my ever so subtle posting where I subtly hint to Sue what I'd like for Christmas... no, that would have nothing to do with it. :)

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Et In Arcadia Ego

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October 28th, 2009

See the "latest post" on the left here... I've decided to concentrate on other work so this blog is kinda done for me... THANKS kindly to my friends and regular readers... and as you'll note, I am still loitering in the blogsphere... and I'm still online... and I honestly haven't given up hope that we will get our dream bus one day! (We've just gotten REALLY quiet about it...)

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