Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Yuletide discussion

I am getting ready to finalize the making of the gifts to send to my brothers and sister. For each of them I bought a little something extra to put in their packages. But for the most part, their gifts are hand made, baked and canned. The reasons for all this? Susan Estrich is Jewish, her holiday is Hanukkah. Because Ms. Estrich celebrates this holiday and not Christmas, she declares that she feels distinctly different from the Christians who celebrate Christmas at this time of the year. What she does give to her children, is the gift of faith.

Compare this to the kind of people who rant and rave over the fact that an atheist forced the city of Spokane, Washington to remove crosses from the badges of police chaplains and a letter writer who complains that Christmas is now a time of greed and is hardly "Christian." On the one hand those who think they need a public display of symbols on chaplains badges to even feel secure in their "faith" or as a writer declared today, their "rights" have been even further eroded. Since when did symbols of faith take over faith? That symbols have become more important than the presumed belief in God. I am the idol worshiper as a Druid. Symbol worship is my ritual and practice as opposed to Christians. Who according to the "Judeo/Christian" way of thinking were supposed to find God and Jesus far more important. Which puts the current crop of "Christians" in a bit of a pickle. They now sound far more pagan and even begin to brag about it. On the other hand, (as I also posted on Huckleberries on-line) people do buy gifts as acts of generosity. And the gift giving (3 kings giving costly gifts to the baby Jesus) has been around and biblically approved for centuries. So, why all the politicized whining and complaining at this time of the year? Because, I'll assume that "Christians" are so dissatisfied with the following that they act like spoiled little children who nitpick at nonexistent issues: Christmas and Thanksgiving are the holidays when most everyone takes the day off, except for some restaurants, gas stations, a few retail outlets, and hotels. To date, Hanukkah, Ramadan, etc. are not dates on the calender that has even government officials taking the day off, banks don't close, mail is still delivered, and businesses (unless they are truly minority owned) run as usual. I quite frankly don't understand what the fuss is about.

What Yule means to me. I give gifts as a Druid, it is an act of blessing and generosity. I give food gifts and try to tailor them to any dietary needs members of my distant family has. That is, distant in miles and states. I decorate my home. I put out wreaths and a tree. I'll set up the fantasy Santa in his sleigh this year. There are no creches and never will there be nativity sets. Yule or Solstice you see, runs in the same time line as Christians put their mass for Christ, a celebration of his life and teachings. In this modern world, decorative strands of lights are the modern day torches to light the way (Solstice) to the return of the sun. Greenery was used by both Pagan Rome and the Celts as an affirmation, that even in the dead of winter, life can spring eternal. Thus, the use of the pine tree for decorative purposes (Deck the Halls actually describes how the Druidic Celts had celebrated Yule or Solstice) Deck the halls with bows of Holly... Holly like Mistletoe were ritually important plants to the ancient Druids. The very fact that ancient pagan rituals and celebrations find their way into modern songs and how people celebrate the season today, is why I don't mind what is now called "Christmas" music and decorate much the same as do Christians. But then, they got their seasonal celebration from we pagans.

Why would Wiccans/Druids and in particular myself send a gift? Simply because it is a universal act, the same as charity. I am hardly going to let go of such a practice even as new left fundamentalists go into a hissy fit about a long and established practice. It is a nice thing to do. And as long as I am able, will continue to do so.

In summary of the above, who is most catered to at this time of the year? Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, ABC Family, ABC, CBS and sometimes NBC put out Christmas specials. TNT put out a Christmas in Washington, last night. When was the last time that any cable, broadcast or satellite TV put out a Hanukkah special? Didn't see one? Don't hold your breath. But, the History Channel and Elaine Pagels works on early Christian history does show us the origins of the Christmas holiday; it's more pagan origins. About the only nod to non-Christian holidays was found on the Food Network, last year. Yeah, the food celebrations of non Christian holidays. But, not the faith part. Who is most catered to? Why the Christians, of course. They have a surfeit of being catered to and still whine that in this religiously diverse nation, that anyone besides themselves actually have an opinion or religious view to share here in the good ole U.S. of A. An expression of such an opinion, an atheist who sues to remove crosses off of Chaplains badges in Spokane, Washington is such an affront that it will surely have Christians forgetting the need for goodwill to all men at this time of the year. As they proclaim loudly and freely how "persecuted" they are over an atheist having as much of a right to his opinion as they have to their own. And yeah, will freely go to their church and pray on Christmas day, while bitterly hating their neighbors for not believing as they do.

Gift giving is a blessing and an act of generosity. And Christmas has become to "Christians" a time to forget that their Jesus is the reason for the season. In both word and deed. Time for these people to make peace with their own traditions and learn again what it means to be Christian.

World Net Daily Service--posted on Huckleberries on-line went after 9 Democrats voting to acknowledge Islam but on the other hand, took a presumed whack at the world wide persecution of Christians. Well now, I have no doubts that Christians in countries where the majority rule is Muslim, or other non-Christian faith or even Communist, Christians can indeed face active opposition and persecution. However, here in the U.S. where the majority of people claim a Christian background, a significant faction, the new left fundamentalists engage in politicized whining about everything under the sun. You have to wonder, really when they will begin to love their lot in life. And they have a lot more than can be claimed by their brethren elsewhere in the world.


Word Tosser said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog.
On the last part, I could not agree more... and yes, I did hit on that subject in the past..
Have bookmark your blog, as you do have good views worthy of reading.
again.. thank you

The New Arch Druid's take on the news said...

And thank you for your comment.

Sparky said...

I find history a solace for remembering that not all things that occur now are really relevant to how we should live our lives. Charity, family, friends, blessings to our creator, and the hope of spring that is what we should reach for. May Spring find you healthy and joyous.

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