I’m really not one of those folks that has a lot of holiday spirit. I never really have about any holiday except Halloween. I love Halloween, the costumes, the candy, the fact it’s the only sabbat I can usually get off my ass and do a ritual for, but Halloween is my thing. Christmas? Not so much.
My grandmother loves Christmas, she has 12-14 boxes of Christmas decorations in the garage, and the elf with the chimes, and old world Santa, and the lights in the kitchen end up staying in the house permanently. She loves Christmas, and it shows. Me? I love the lights and buying people stuff, but that’s it. As I’m not a Christian, the whole “Jesus is born” doesn’t really apply, and hell, many historians claim he was born in the spring anyway. Yule is a good sabbat, but I’m such a half assed pagan that I perform rituals once a year or less.
I can get behind the lights though. I love Christmas lights, much like I love the 4th of July’s fireworks. There’s just something about the bright and shiny that I love. That’s one nice thing about traveling the United States, I get to see all the lights across it. It’s not quite like going down the well lit streets back home, but there’s still plenty of pretty to be found. And, before I forget, let me embed one of my favorite Christmas light videos. It’s from 2004 or 2005, and it features the house of Carson Williams who did an entire display to the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Wizard in Winter. According to Snopes, it was also featured in a Miller Light commercial in 2005.
The other thing I really love about Christmas is the fact I can give gifts to people. I might be grumpy about the constant caroling, and the huge mess stores become, but I like to give people gifts. Finding the perfect gift is one of those things I really like to do. I’m prone to giving gifts that I would like to get, so I give a lot of toys, and DVDs that I know other people love. If I know someone’s a reader, and I know their tastes, I try and find a couple of books they might like. The nice thing about Christmas is that people can’t refuse your gifts. It’s a sanctioned gift giving time, so I can give a gift and someone can’t go “Thanks, but I can’t accept this.” I have had people try and refuse gifts because they felt they didnt’ deserve them (silly idea) and so Christmas is great for that.
I think a chunk of why I’m not fond of Christmas is because Marie died on Christmas, and that’s sorta put a damper on everything. Marie was a cousin of sorts. Because I’m adopted, there are a lot of people who are distant cousins, but also first cousins, or my uncle’s my brother, that sort of thing. So, by adoption, Marie was my cousin. She was the only child of my grandfather’s only sister. The car I have now is her old car, purchased by my grandparents in 2000 for me. I spent a lot of time around her growing up, as my family is fairly close knit.
She died of the same cancer her mother had on Christmas in… of course my memory would fail me, but it was either 2001 or 2002. She’d been ill for quite some time before, a good 3 or 4 months, and her cousins Judy and LeRoy were taking care of her down in Corvallis. We knew she was ill, but it still hit everyone hard. I remember sitting on the futon in Klamath Falls, watching M*A*S*H reruns when the call came. It’s kinda made christmas sad ever since. And, so, I think it’s a lot of why I don’t have holiday spirit.