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Ours vs. Theirs holiday mentality

November 27, 2012

I’ve very lucky and I know that not everyone has this advantage.  My family, intimate and a lot of extended, know that I’m Pagan.  They my disagree with me, they may worry about the state of my soul but they do not lecture me, they do not condemn, ignore or shun me. I am very lucky in that way and I understand that not everyone is that lucky.

Maybe I’ve been Pagan too long (over 17 years for the curious) but I do not understand the whole us vs. them that the winter holiday season seems to bring out in people, whether closeted, out, Pagan, Christian or other faith.  Maybe I went there earlier in my path, honestly I do not remember.

This is a season of joy.  The light is returning, being reborn or remembered.  This is a good thing no matter HOW you define “light”.  I’ve seen quite a bit of angst recently over symbols, songs and what have you.  This is silly.  A waste of time and energy.  Do not fret over how society will deem a symbol.  This is your home not the public square.  Decorate it in whatever way holds meaning for you and yours.

So you want to put up a tree, whether real or fake?

pretty tree at night

Then do so.  Call it whatever you want or just simply “my tree”.  Decorate it in whatever manner brings you happiness, joy, delight, etc.  Use whatever symbols have meaning for you no matter what those symbols mean to someone else.  The majority of my ornaments are either ones I made or ones that I was gifted.  I keep those I like and regift or donate the rest.

So you want a wreath?

Cross-stitched Alphabet wreath

Go for it.  Wreaths were used in many cultures for many reasons.  Decorate as you wish, just like with your tree.  My outdoor wreath is decorated with a short string of lights, holly, mistletoe, ivy and a gold 5 pointed star.

Do you want to send cards?

My homemade but professionally printed holiday cards for 2012

Yes, then do so.  Plenty of nature themed or “generic” cards available.  A good way to let extended family and friends know that they are in your thoughts.  No?  Then don’t.  Really it is that easy.  Doing or not doing does not make you a better or worse person.  It is personal preference.  What to do with the cards your receive?  Personally I hang them on the wall next to my front door as these were sent by those thinking of me and mine to spread goodwill.  After the holidays, I go through and keep sections of the cards that I can reuse as gift tags and recycle the rest.


What about Santa?

the woodland Santa that my mother redecorated for me

What about that jolly ol’ elf?  Does he hold meaning for you?  Yes, then have at him.  He has been seen in a variety of ways over the past 100 years.  Why let what your family thinks of him influence you?  Some say his roots are in a Catholic Bishop, others say in Faerie.  I’ve read of connections to Dionysos, Poseidon, Hermes, etc.  Really it doesn’t matter. No?  Then don’t decorate with him.  Again it is that simple.  For me, he is the daimon or spirit of giving selflessly, of giving without expectations of return.  How is that a bad thing?

What about “Christmas” carols?

cross-stitched bells

What about them? Take them or leave them.  They are an extra.  Singing them the way they are will not offend the Gods I think.  Reinterpret them as you choose.  Reword them if you like.  No one needs to know how you are singing them.  We have a wide variety of carols, including Cajun and Redneck…because they are funny and remind me not to get caught up in the us vs. them, shoulds vs. shouldnots of the season.

But if XYZ asks why you do or do not have such-and such symbol displayed.  Because I do/don’t like it.  Because I do/don’t like the meaning behind it.  If they push you for details, smile and change the subject.  If they persist, say you do not want to talk about it.  If they get rude, show them the door.  Really it is your space, decorate it in a way that has meaning for you.  Do not allow the negativity of others to inform your own practices.  This is a season of joy.  Act like it.  Keep what has meaning for you and get rid of the rest.  Decorate or not, how it pleases you and your intimates.  Compromise if you live in a multi-cultural household.  But do not allow the delight of the season to be sucked out over trivalties.  Do what brings you joy and does not physically harm others, mental issues are up to them.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2012 1:06 PM



  2. ladyimbrium permalink
    November 27, 2012 1:20 PM

    *virtual high five*


  3. naiadis permalink
    November 28, 2012 7:12 AM

    I’m greatly amused by our different approaches to this season, and the fact that we end up in a similar place. You say, it’s a season of joy! My approach is, it’s the somber season! But we both seem to end up on: focus on what actually matters! I kinda like that.


    • November 28, 2012 7:39 AM

      Nifty! I live in an area whose winter is typically harsh. (Yeah not so much right now…even the trees are confused around here…they are budding) So the return of the sun is a reason to celebrate. We also get together with family and it tends to be a fun occasion. We open our gifts on Solstice, my family’s gifts on Christmas Eve and Hubby’s family’s gifts along with Santa’s on Christmas Day. For me, I arrange Heliogenna so that the 24 and 25th are always the days of honoring friends and family.


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