Friday Essay – I Cancelled Christmas This Year

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

I cancelled Christmas this year.  Christmas hasn’t been a religious holiday for me for most of my life. The secular traditions of Christmas were certainly part of my childhood and I passed many of them on to my daughter when she was younger. Of course, like the Grinch, I couldn’t really keep Christmas from coming.  It went up in November in most shops and on the city streets.  Unlike, the Grinch I didn’t want to cancel Christmas because it makes others happy; I wanted to cancel the parts that make me unhappy. What I mean by ‘cancel’ is that no one in my household woke on the morning of the 25th and unwrapped gifts from under a decorated evergreen tree.  No one in my household spent more money than he or she could afford on gifts that none of us needed or wanted.  No one in my household spent hours creating a sumptuous meal designed to send the eaters into a coma.  No one in my household spend hours they could not, or did not want to spare shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, sewing, knitting, painting, packaging, or decorating.  Perhaps, if my daughter and her partner had been able to come home there may well have been a tree and gift opening on the morning of the 25th. What I wanted to keep from coming was the commercialism, stress and general overblown nonsense that comes with Christmas in North America. Over the last few weeks we did exchange gifts and have good meals with friends and family. I enjoy the warm gatherings with friends and family that happen over the darkest days of winter. My fella and I enjoyed holiday-themed shows. I have enjoyed snowy walks outside with my dog. The coming of winter for me this year means contemplation and rest. I will take more time to relax and write and contemplate over the next few days.  I enjoyed a lovely Solstice ritual with members of my congregation.   Celebration of the Solstice reminds me that rest and contemplation will turn to growth and change just as the Earth turns and the spring comes.  When I cancelled Christmas, I cancelled the stress and busyness that makes me unhappy.  I couldn’t cancel the important things that make this dark time of year special.  Blessed Winter!

Be Lovely to Each Other,

Laura

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