22 December 2011

Celebrate

Our Christmas Tree This Year
This time of year is a time for celebration - at least that is what everyone keeps saying. Sometimes it is really hard to celebrate a year that has had a lot of ups and downs, and if you have more downs than ups, maybe you are celebrating that the year is finally OVER. January 1 always seems like a time to reboot, give yourself a fresh slate to start scribbling on.

However, right now is the clash of secular holidays that can make any sane person's head spin (so, you can imagine what it is doing to me!). I was raised in a traditional household, traditional as in I was baptized a Lutheran at the age of six, we went to church on a semi-regular basis when I was younger, attended Sunday School, was jealous of all the kids that got off the bus on Tuesdays after school at the church (did not really understand CCD at that time, now all I can say is Whew!) and fell out of religion pretty much all together in high school and college. I was drawn to Wicca, but never really felt in tune with any sort of solo practice with it, too self-inhibited to try to meet others who may have shown more of a light on those Paths.

I rediscovered church through my last spouse, this time Unitarian Universalism. We were living out in Wichita at the time, and the space where this church was so....different. People came from all sorts of backgrounds, religions, all just wanting a space to be themselves and believe that what they believed was okay. Folding chairs, curved wooden walls, children's art behind the front space, and people were KNITTING IN CHURCH.

I knew I had found my place.

But of course I left there, and it took a while to find the right church that resonated with me, and now am ever so grateful that I have. I know my Path is littered with remnants of Christianity, Goddesses, moon gazing, mythology, tree-hugging, and a big bunch of knowing that the Universe in my Mind's Eye is a woman in overalls with a big 2x4 over her shoulder. She always smiles when she whacks me upside the head with that board. And I love Her for that.

So, now of course with my family and my children, I do celebrate the Christmas holiday in all of its glorious tradition of giving gifts. I feel no real shame in that, I know that others find a more religious experience in that day. For me, it is one for family and loved ones. This is a time to share bounty both physically and emotionally, if you can.

My Solstice Candle
Personally, I celebrate the Solstice. As once again the Wheel Turns, and light begins to overtake the darkness that has been ever-present since the summertime waning. I light the candle and smell the scent of evergreen in my house, and once again remember that what I believe may be as much the same, or as different, as every other person on this planet.

So, Happy Holidays, everyone.