This month’s FM Blog Tour post was a writing prompt called Holidays. I actually ended up with Christmas as my posting date.
So Merry Christmas! To those who celebrate other holidays – Happy Holidays!
I am going to take a moment to to share some of my thoughts about the holidays with you. Rest assured I’m not awake as this is posted. Auto-post is a brilliant feature. I actually wrote this post weeks ago. Chances are I’m sleeping in. Then later this afternoon I’ll get up and go celebrate a secular Christmas holiday with my family at my sister’s house.
See, I’m actually a pagan. I celebrate the winter solstice and Yule. That is: The shortest day of the year and changing of seasons. I don’t know about all of you, but I enjoy at least two weeks of festivities this time of year. The fun begins around the 21st and doesn’t end until the first day of January. I don’t really partake of actual Mithraic or Saturnalia celebrations since I don’t know anyone practicing those traditions, but be warned that if I ever meet anyone who puts on a great Mithraic rite or a fabulous Saturnalia, you’ll see me there with bells on ready to join in the festivities.
I do actually practice the tradition of decorating a tree though I use a faux tree because real ones are too messy, not to mention I see no reason to kill a perfectly good tree just so I can hang pretty baubles on it. Like just about everyone else, I also practice the tradition of feasting and I love giving gifts to friends and family. My only “religious” observance, if you can call it that, is my actual solstice rite. It’s called Belial Rite in the specific tradition I practice. It’s a celebration of Earth’s changing seasons, the re-birth of the sun [in the sky — the days start getting longer again after solstice], and the dormancy of winter.
Did I mention the feasting?
My waistline could probably do without all the feasting. Just sayin’… This chubby girl makes a mean German fruitcake that people actually want to eat. I am pretty handy when it comes to making delicious, baked holiday goodies of all kinds though. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen baking stuff. As a matter-of-fact this holiday season I’m making my infamous butternut squash casserole and a cherry pie, both on family request. Let’s hope they turn out good. You just never know with pie sometimes. I have been known to occassionaly screw up a pie crust. Store bought ones suck so you’re better off making your own.
Of course the best part of Christmas for me, aside from eating and buying gifts for others, is watching the little kids open their gifts. Admittedly my younger nieces and nephews are a spoiled bunch. I don’t have kids of my own, so I spoil my siblings’ kids instead. The kids under 14 are the most fun to shop for. After 14 they’re tougher. With the little kids their eyes light up and they’re so excited. For a moment, no matter how brief, you can live vicariously through them and get a sense of the joy they feel; that sense of joy you tend to lose with years and experience. Really – there are a lot of things to be joyful about. It’s just that joy is different when you’re a kid. Your joys are simple. As you get older that joy comes from more practical things. Like you’re happy you have a job and roof over your head or you’re happy you were able to buy the children gifts. With kids they’re just joyful to have a toy or for the opportunity to play. They’re not worried about New Year’s resolutions or how to pay of the credit cards. They don’t really think that far into the future. They live in the moment. It’s no wonder one of the big to-do’s of stress management is bring your awareness to the present moment and keep it there for as long as possible. Such is the basis of many meditations. So this holiday season I’m going to do my best to live in the present moment and enjoy my family. In that I know I will experience joy.
So what are your Holiday traditions? What makes the darkest part of the year a little brighter for you?
About The FM Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour
Today’s post was inspired by the topic Holidays this month’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read their thoughts on the Holidays, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. I blog with this tour the 25th of every month. Up next on the tour: Becky Pratt!