I’m just as excited about Christmas as the next person, even though I have absolutely zero religious connection to it. It’s not even the gifts, though I must say gifts are nice. Spending time with my family is the real treat. They are a chaotic and crazy bunch (I say this lovingly, knowing I’m as or more chaotic and crazy than most of them), and I love being in the fray, probably because I’m not in it very often.
That is what the holidays are all about, isn’t it? Connecting with your family, catching up, and loving it all exactly because you are not all together all of the time. Same with my friends– I have great friends at home, and I am so excited to see them. Yet I know if I still lived in my hometown, we’d hardly see each other. That great trap of assuming you’ll ‘get around to’ something just because you live there.
A friend recommended I look at this blog called Friendly Atheist, which I definitely recommend. It’s funny and pretty intensely atheist. In fact, I’d call that ‘active atheism’ and probably consider myself a ‘passive atheist.’ There’s potentially some amusing and/or inappropriate imagery in that one, too…(To take that further, check out the Friendly Atheist post,”are you a hardcore atheist?“) There are some Wulffmorgenthaler comics in that one, too…
Anyway, I found it interesting that this blog decided to firmly assign the name ‘Solstice’ to the holidays, even recommending as a ‘Solstice gift’ the fantastic ‘Timeline of Evolution‘ for children. Perhaps it’s just because I’m a “passive” atheist, but I think the term “happy holidays”is more appropriate for the non-religious, around-December-23rd-ish, greeting. I’m not quibbling here, because that would be stupid. It just got me thinking.
Isn’t “Solstice” a pagan term? Which, in my opinion, is an older, Earth-based (and in some ways, to me, more sensible) religion? Hence still a religion? I considered myself a Pagan for a few years at the beginning of college (it happens), and I appreciate that while the Solstice is an actual occurrence, I just don’t think gifts and Solstice go together. Unless you’re giving someone mead. (“We’re making our own college-version in the bathtub mead” is gross, by the way.)
There is my pedantry for the day/week/month.