Monday, December 9, 2013

How to survive the Holidays if you aren't Christian

the holidays are a special time.  filled with home, and family, and hearth.  snow blanketing the land, the twinkle of lights on the tree.  the joy.  the carols.  but when you're a Pagan, the holidays can be a minefield.  here is a little list that might make it easier to navigate.

1.  don't get your panties in a bunch.  yes, early Christians moved the birth of Jesus to coincide with the winter solstice in order to make conversion to Christianity easier.  you aren't going to win friends and influence people by rubbing it in their face every time someone says 'Merry Christmas'.  chillax.

2.  be nice.  if you know someone is Christian, tell them Merry Christmas.  if you know someone is Jewish, say "Happy Hanukkah".  being polite isn't going to kill you.

3.  call it Yule if you want to.  or call it Christmas.  in our house we use the terms interchangeably.  no one really cares what you call it.

4.  it's OK to get frustrated.  yes, people will ask you why you celebrate if you aren't Christian.  they may even be rude about it.  that's their drama, not yours, and it says more about who THEY are than who they think you are.  at worst, you've just dealt with a douche bag, at best you've made somebody think.

5.  find something to LOVE about the holidays.  for me, it's Santa.  there are so many Odin references that i can't not love it.  for you, maybe it's the cookies, the carols, the snow, the rum, whatever.

6.  remember that believing in something other than a "mainstream" religion makes people afraid.  they begin to question their own beliefs, and that's uncomfortable for them.  be kind.

7.  know when to walk away.  there are a couple of people i just steer clear of the entire month of December.  it's not worth the digs, snide comments, and "jokes".

8.  know when to stand up.  if someone is truly harassing you because of your religion, remember that it is your Constitutionally protected right to Freedom of Religion.  you have every right to believe what ever you believe.  sometimes you need to stand and say enough.

9.  above all else, be true to yourself.  if you're not a "Christmas-y" person, don't even try.  if you want to run through town screaming "SANTA!!!!", go for it.  make it yours.

happy holidays everybody

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