Most everyone knows, and those of you that don’t, pick up a fucking book, that the almost every holiday we celebrate, that how we celebrate and what we are celebrating are rarely actually related to each other. I can give so many examples it’s really not funny, but I will give some easy ones. A fat man giving spreading consumerism by being creepy and breaking into your house while you sleep so he can eat your food and leave your kids gifts, has little to do with the birth of Jesus. As much so I guess, as a large bunny hiding eggs, where ever a bunny gets eggs, for your kids to find, makes sense as the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. You can easily see my point here.
This is the start of why I don’t really like celebrating holidays. It isn’t so much that I don’t agree with the idea of them or the celebrations of them, I just hate talking about a fat man bringing me gifts for months, gifts made by elves, and then talk all day how Christmas is about giving. But, wait, I thought Christmas was about the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, when did it become about giving? And why do I get a gift, when supposedly I should live a thrifty and humble life as Jesus did? This is when I am confused and frankly upset about the idea, because so many people just follow and exist with these holidays without looking at them for what they really are, and celebrating what they believe.
If you believe Christmas to be a celebration of the day Jesus is born, then you should be celebrating that, talking about that. If you give something to anyone, shouldn’t it be something that Jesus would give, to someone he would give it too? I have read the bible, and I have news for most of you, Santa might bring you that iPad Mini you have wanted since the release announcement from Apple, but Jesus doesn’t give a crap, he would give money to charity and buy food for the needy. Don’t get all mad at me as some anti Christmas person, or an overly religious person, cause I am neither. I don’t care if you want to celebrate Christmas, and I am far from religious, I just think if you celebrate a holiday based on a religious or social ideal, then it really makes sense to do it based on that ideal not on some made of traditions that you don’t even know why they are there, right? I love gifts, and I am the easiest person to shop for, cause I seem to love everything, but I have a day, my birthday. Feel free to get me whatever you want, and please do, I will take it, on my birthday. I just don’t understand getting things on a day celebrating the birth of a man that is celebrated as the one guy that ACTUALLY gave his life to save others.
Now, in saying that, I can see how someone could twist that into saying that it is a holiday about giving. Okay, I will give you that, but if you have to give, why not give to someone that needs it. I am not rich, but my kids are comfortable. Not only do they have a nice roof, food and clothes, but they have all the electronic toys, bikes and so on, they don’t really need one more gadget to ignore or complain about. There are plenty of people that might not eat that day, there are shelters for abused kids that had to leave everything they owned behind to escape a bad situation, and there are families that can barely afford to feed their kids, much less buy those toys. It seems that those are the people that need that giving most of all. Why not take the big step and not just give a little to them and still have a big thing for your family, why not get your family involved and give all you can to them and make that what you do with your family.
My favorite time of year is during that holiday break from work and school. Instead of opening gifts, me and my kids box up things around the house that we don’t really use but is still usable, and take it all down to a charity like I listed above, to give to families that really can use it.
The truth is, most holidays are holidays and celebrations that existed for one reason or another, culturally and religiously, and were taken over by a different religion. Christmas is a great example, since it was set to be celebrated on December 25th, since there were already two other annual celebrations on that day that celebrated none christian beliefs, most notably Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which celebrated the birth of the Roman sun god. With Christianity spreading as the national religion in the Roman Empire, the church had concern about people still wanting to celebrate their traditional holidays, but these holidays were in celebration to other gods. Easy solution, that has worked for a couple millennium since, just change which god/person/event they are celebrating. You say you are now Christian, but you have this holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god that you already have a tradition and annual celebration for, just change sun god to Jesus, and a new holiday is born. Doesn’t really matter if the celebration matches what is being celebrated, only that the focus is on what the church wants it to be on. Then over the millennium and half to come we pick up folk lore and tradition from other cultures as the religion spreads, and one brilliant soda advertiser, until eventually we have Santa breaking in your house to leave Elvin made gifts and eating all your cookies.
This goes for so many others, I just focused in a little much on Christmas. Valentine’s Day is another of my least favorite. There have a few Valentine’s celebrated by the church over the years, but most notably being Saint Valentine, in which the holiday began with, although they have all been eventually grouped in to one over time. That is why it is Valentine’s not Valentine Day. For that matter, not even the church that decides on who saints are knows enough about Saint Valentine, outside his martyr status and date he was venerated, to really call him notable. In fact they know so little about him that he, along with Valentine’s Day, has been removed from the official Catholic calendar, only recognizing him on that day, if they have nothing better going on. This is a great example of people just making things up. This one started out as a feast and day of sacrifice, which was changed after the 14th century, for no apparent reason, to be a day of love, and at that point was love in fellowship, a declaration of love to everyone that matters to you and effects your life. It is a rather recent concept for it to be a day of romantic love. I never understood having a single day for that, seems you would want to do that year round.
All of this is really just a short essay on my ideas of holidays, and how I believe we should all look into why we are doing something and not just do it because we always have. Some of these days, if you really looked into their history and how they were meant to be celebrated, you may not even want to celebrate them anymore. There might be others that you never cared about that you really find are more worth your time. I find the celebration of the Solstices to be fascinating, and I really don’t know how to celebrate them more then a recognition of the event, but I try to twice a year. Not for any spiritual belief, but just an amazement in the science of event. The measurable moment that we are closest and furthest from the sun, and the fact that they are the two oldest celebrated moments. Just the fact that it is one of the oldest record-able moments, and the more we learn about why it happens and the more we know about our planet, it only becomes that much more awesome that it happens in such a predictable time frame. Just think of everything that would go wrong with our ecosystem if we tilted one way or the other to quickly or for too long.
Find something that matters to you, respect it enough to celebrate it correctly and share it with your family. If you are offended by anything I have said, shut up, I am an idiot with a blog, no one forced you to read this much.