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06 December 2008

Scrooges Beware

I really like Christmas.

Someone asked recently how I can justify getting my Yule on with so much enthusiasm, when I'm a proud, card-carrying member of the I-don't-believe-in-God Society. And I don't know if I can justify it, but I'm going to try anyway and if you're still confused you can go and ask Walt Whitman to explain.

I quite like the Christian Christmas story. The idea of a poor family denied any kind of welfare and having to give birth in a barn is appealing to a bleeding-heart lefty like me. And the bits about the star, and the wise men - awesome. The stuff good stories are made of. And it is a great story, whether I believe it really happened or not. Also, there are some great Christmas carols about it, and I do love to get a little bit carolly at this time of year.

But Christmas isn't about religion to me. Mum and I went to Midnight Mass one year in Adelaide (just for something to do), but it was really hot and there was standing room only and I fainted just before Communion.

So for me, Christmas is about family, friends, food, glittery things, fairy lights, gifts, and something else that is strange and magical, which I suppose some people call God but I prefer to think of as the entirely non-supernatural spirit of Christmas.
Anyway, I'm going to be blogging about some Christmassy things over the next couple of weeks, so Scrooges should probably go and count their lumps of coal until the 26th, because I'll be unashamedly soppy and full of cheer.


Penni said...

I like Christmas too. I love the whole 'peace on earth' and 'good will to all men (and women)', Good King Wenceslaus setting off in a snow storm to give poor people bread and wine thing. And even though I'm on the atheist end of the spectrum, I love hearing my kids talk about baby jesus. I can totlly get on board with a festival that celebrates the miracle of human life as represented in a newborn baby and the capacity for babies to bring peace and love and wonder into the human heart.

james roy said...

Yes, Christmas makes a lot more sense than Easter to a humanist. Christmas = babies in mangers, hope of new life etc, whereas Easter (esp post-Mel Gibson) is a bit bloody and cruel.
Plus, to quote Queenie from Black Adder Series 2, "I do love pwessies!"

Aidan said...

Midnight mass is always terrible.

My family swears by going to mass before opening presents (though we were naughty last year). Midnight mass always seems like a pro idea 'cause we could open them the second we got up.

My sister gets sick nearly every time we go at midnight (i.e. 4 out of 5).

When held in the church, it's stuffy.

When held in the Marian Centre (the largest building in Gladstone where you can have any Catholic ritual in, just happening to be the sports-hall at my school), it's overpacked and sweaty and gross.

I love all the Baby Jesus stuff, and when at my Nan's church, I join in the play. But Christmas is a time for family more than anything else; family, friends, prawns and a good drink.