In my last post I explained why I don’t like New Year’s Eve: my friends want me to do things I don’t like, I have no sentimental relationship with the idea of New Year and my absolute closest friends prove themselves to be “monumentally selfish”. But I also said that I do have a sentimental place for Christmas, so what’s all that about?
To me, Christmas is not a religious event. If you pick the right periods of history, obviously it was a religious event (after it was the Winter Solstice), and for many people it is still a religious event. But for me it is a cultural event and it is a family event. It’s an opportunity to see my grandma once more per year. It’s an excuse to hang out with my many cousins. It’s a chance to get to know the distant relatives from my stepdad’s family (and that family is Hindu if it’s religious at all).
For those that argue that I shouldn’t have a Christmas like this, and that Christmas is primarily religious, I ask you about the following things: Santa Claus, the Coca Cola advert, reindeer, roast turkey, Christmas cards and bringing a pine tree into the house. Even the idea of giving and receiving presents doesn’t really make sense if we’re celebrating someone else’s birthday (albeit, nearly 4 months late). For those that think Christmas should be a Christian event only, tough. I refuse to be forced out of a cultural tradition that I like.
Even though Christianity birthed Christmas, it is a cultural holiday. But it is called “Christmas”. “’Tis the Season” and “Happy Holidays” are fine things to say, but calling it the “Winter Solstice” is intentionally obtuse. There’s a page on Facebook called “I fucking love science”, and they posted a picture that said “let’s all get drunk and celebrate the Earth’s axial tilt this season!” I hope this was intended as sarcasm to present the same thing that I feel: not calling it Christmas is sucking the joy out of it.
It is Christmas. It is cultural. It is about family. And you can make it as religious as you want in your house.