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Monday, December 19, 2005

Stream of consciousness post on Christmas

When the only time you see the sun is if it's at the exact right angle through the skylight in the mall when you escape your windowless office for lunch, you need something to celebrate or you'll go mad. Christmas is what I grew up with, so regardless of what I believe any more, or the fact that my idea of celebrating lately is to put on a funny hat and get roaring drunk with my office mates, I call the thing I do Christmas.

I don't go for Baby Jesus and I don't go for Santa, but I've had my lights up on my balcony (and turned on) since we set our clocks back an hour, the excuse being, of course, to ward off the darkness. But once it gets "appropriate" - which is to say, the rest of my street is an epileptic's no-go zone, I start putting out more shiny stuff.

And I cook! It's nice to have an excuse, once a year, to give people stuff. I suspect people would find it weird if I started bringing them homemade candy at random times of the year.

It pains my hardnosed little rationalist heart to say it, but at least based on my own experience, there is some kind of Christmas Spirit to be gotten into. And for some reason, making (and regularly sampling!) candy whose calories could feed entire families, while listening to EuroRadio's 12-hour Christmas music marathon just puts me in a really good mood.

Even when I started questioning whether a federally-funded radio station should be broadcasting 12 hours of religiously-themed programming, I stayed in a good mood. I decided that if I can celebrate Christmas without believing in any of it except for the excuse to have a party and give people stuff, then there's no reason to ban the really beautiful art that has been created over the centuries to celebrate the made-up occasion. Bach's Christmas Oratorio can kick Rudolph's ass any day.

Even when I discover I'm out of tinfoil right when I'm supposed to be pouring hot fudge into a tinfoil-lined pan, go to the grocery store for more, discover my wallet is not in my pocket, go home, go back to the store, buy the tinfoil, come home, and realize I'm also running low on sugar, I feel all merry and bright and contemplate with amusement that I really do deserve to be boiled in my own Christmas pudding with a stake of holly through my heart. Good thing I'm not making any Christmas pudding.

Incidentally, my reason for getting my butt back to blogging: I'm avoiding this:

After listening to the EuroRadio broadcast, the main thing I'm thinking is, there are all sorts of other cultures that I don't know nearly enough about, and that must have equally beautiful artistic traditions surrounding their high holy days, and one thing i would really like to see is similar broadcasts for Hannukah and Eid and Diwali and Kwanzaa and Solstice and Chinese New Year and, and, and...

And I wouldn't mind more excuses to cook and eat yummy things either.


Blogger Braidwood said...

Hi! I 'm an a-theist too, and I LOVE Christmas and I'm very into the Christmas spirit this year. I need ritual and symbols - I think it is a very human need. I just don't take it literally. In addition to usual Christmas celebrations, I go to a solstice celebration every year, and last year my friend from India invited me to her house for The festival of lights which they have in winter. Yay Christmas!

10:56 a.m.


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