I had perhaps too many blog ideas in my head at the same time, floating around and refusing to meld into solid ideas in the shape of words. Those entries are still coming, I promise. Sometimes a good opinionated blog entry comes from a place of frustration, anger or indignation. I can comfortably say that I haven't really been in that kind of state lately. I've been more content than I sometimes think I deserve to be (which is a whole post by itself).
I just spent a good half hour relaxing on my couch and admiring my xmas tree, it just makes me so inexplicably happy and relaxed. I don't celebrate the coming holiday in any religious fashion. I'm well acquainted with the Western religion most closely (and commercially) associated with this time of year. And I do believe that Jesus was a real person, who had some pretty neat ideas about being nice to one another. I also think that people were easily impressed and very imaginative back then. Also as any one who's ever played the old telephone game knows, stories change on retelling. And seriously, how many times has his story been retold?
I'm a steadfast atheist. I have been for 20 years now. I remember being told at the age of 14 when I came out with this to my mother that I was not allowed to celebrate Christmas. I don't know if she thought it would change my mind (no presents for you unless you believe in god) or if she just blurted it out from some sense that she failed me in the religion department. But I have never in those 20 years or the 14 that preceded them, failed to celebrate Christmas, regardless of what people call it or how you spell it.
I celebrate the coming of winter (my favourite season — even if last year the snow was incredibly late and this year it seems to only be visiting once a week), I celebrate with my family of origin and my family of choice, I celebrate with food and with fun/cheesy holiday music. I celebrate by gift giving, it brings smiles to the faces of those I love and that makes me happy, which as far as I'm concerned, is the best reason to give someone a gift.
You see the actual Thanksgiving holiday means virtually nothing to me. The time of year I feel most thankful and truly happy for what I have is at Christmas. Because I can share the joy and the little wealth I have. This holiday has always been about family for me, both kinds. It's about being a little extra nice to everyone (because you should be nice to people all year, but it's this time that it's most appreciated).
So this month, be nice to people. Everyone. Even the haggard sales associates in the store, they need to make a living too. When they greet you with a scripted 'hi, how are you?" Answer in kind, ask them how they are. Hold the door open for people, not just half-assedly on your way out, but with intent. Be patient. Smile warmly at strangers, even if they aren't cute or if they are.
Whatever you celebrate, whatever your reasons may be. I hope you find a way to be content and warm and with the people you love.