Monday, December 5, 2011 It's Not A Christmas Tree (pronounced a la Ahnold in Total Recall)
This coming Sunday we will be trimming a tree for the first time in quite a few years. My relationship with Christmas as an adult has been touch-and-go to say the least; come-and-go and yes-and-no say more on the subject. I spent many years working on and performing in the annual Christmas Show at the Spinning Wheel Inn, so I was in the Christmas spirit all those years. When you start singing carols in October that's going to happen. But we haven't had a tree since I stopped doing the show 5 years ago.
As a kid I loved Christmas! And my atheist parents celebrated gladly. We'd trim the tree and hang our stockings and watch all the Christmas specials. When I was young it was all about Santa, but then I learned the story of the nativity through both osmosis and by going to church with my friend Michele when I'd slept over on Saturday night. But I never believed it, and I guess this is where my conflicted relationship with Christmas began. It's always been a sticking point, I guess you can say. A soft spot.
There's a special look you get from some people when you tell them you're atheist. You can tell right away they'll never really connect with you again, you're an immediate outsider. All those things about you they liked immediately have no value.
And sometimes you get the questions. "How did we get here?" "What happens to you when you die?" "How do you have morals if you don't believe in God?"
I'm back at recess in the school yard; back on the phone when they'd call and harass me. Seriously. Junior high crap. From adults.
This is all partly the subject of the new play I'm working on, Showers of Happiness. So writing this is helping me write that. But the focus here is my tree trimming party, so back to that...
I'm being very conscious of not calling it a Christmas tree, because I'm not celebrating the birth of Christ. I am celebrating the ancient Pagan Winter Solstice, the tradition of getting together with family and friends and decorating a tree.
I know. It's a whole thing. It's an attack on Christmas and the Christians are feeling persecuted. My Catholic therapist and I touched on the subject, quickly saw we had a difference of opinion and changed the subject before it all went south. She was upset the White House was trying to call the Christmas tree a Holiday tree. (There goes Obama trying to please everyone again, I don't mind when it's me he's trying to please.) Pagans were decorating trees long before Christianity began. December 25 is not the day Jesus was born. I really don't know what else to say on the subject.
So, I'm not attacking Christianity by not saying Christmas tree, I'm being honest. My tree is not a Christmas tree. You may have all the Christmas trees you want; you may call them what you want. But don't give me the stink eye because I choose to honor the origination of the holiday, in the ancient Pagan traditions that my ancestors surely passed down through the generations to my atheist parents.
Happy Holidays \m/
PS - Check out my #UnoccupyTheMall article on Alternative Control \m/