Getting through Christmas as a Pagan.

Like, I’m sure many Pagans, I find Christmas a very conflicting time of year. On one hand it means essentially nothing to me as a religious holiday, I personally hold with the idea that either all places, objects, acts, and days are sacred, or none are. On the other hand I live in Ireland, and so am surrounded by people for whom this is the most important time of year. (We won’t get into the Easter is more important discussion here. Aside from anything else, Pagan so I don’t really give a damn.) This leaves me in an unpleasant position where I can go one of two clear-cut ways, or pick a somewhat uncomfortable middle ground.

Route 1: Ignore Christmas totally, and just enjoy a few days of the year where there are decent movies on television. I did this one year, but it made everyone else in my life feel rotten, so I never repeated it.

Route 2: Fake it, acting as if it’s the most wonderful time of the…yeah I can’t even finish that sentence, and still respect myself.

Route 3: Acknowledge and honour its importance to those I care about, while hoping they return that by not shoving the religious side of things in my face.

Needless to say I tend to go with route 3. And so far it works pretty well. I use this time of year as a chance to buy/make people nice things, and not be given out to for doing so. I of course being a slightly mercenary individual welcome the chance to be given presents, and this year I can’t wait to get my hands on my new mandolin! But that’s really all it is to me. Just a day with gifts, and lots of food I can’t eat, though quite frankly in the case of bloody brussel sprouts the world is welcome to them.

But for all the welcome compromises this route contains it still leaves me feeling odd though. Not bad exactly, but I guess somewhat disconnected from things. At Christmas I always feel like I’m looking in on something that I don’t fully understand, through frosted glass. Involved as an observer, but not really a part of it all. And it makes me wonder how I should feel about all of this. Worse though it makes me wonder how it would feel to be a part of a similar event, but one that encompasses my beliefs (not bloody likely mind you, I’ve never met anyone who shares what I believe, not even amongst other Pagans.). To have a space of shared belief, or even shared ideological kinship.

The closest thing I have to this in my life is the BDSM world. But in truth, in no small part because of my views on BDSM, even there I feel like the outsider. The one looking in at the revellers within, invited but not welcome.

Maybe in the years to come this will change. Maybe someday I’ll find something like this to feel a part of, regardless of whether it’s a Pagan, BDSM, Vanilla, political thing. For a human being, a member of a species who live to build communities, belonging to something you can believe in is vitally important. Hopefully eventually something will change, and I’ll find or make an Amanda shaped hole somewhere in the world to slot into. But in the mean time I’ll just have to keep squashing myself into those spaces that do exist, even if they aren’t quite right, and dream of the celebratory space that is.

Happy what ever you believe in folks,
From square peg Amanda.

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6 Comments to “Getting through Christmas as a Pagan.”

  1. How about route 3.2–enjoying a day where everyone puts aside their crazy busy lives to share a day or two together over a good meal and a few unnecessary gifts, religion aside?

    It’s how I look at it, anyway. I celebrate solstice in front of my alter and take care of my spiritual needs before the chaos. Then I feel like its the best of both worlds.

    Hope you have a wonderful Xmas and New Year!!

  2. Hi Just found your blog

    I do 3 and celebrate as a time of year to celebrate the season – not christmas but midwinter – the winter solstice. I start celebtaing on 21 quietly with my husband. This includes putting up my tree on my alter, taking with my ancestors, sharing a few gifts with my husband – not big ones, just a few things that we like to give each other and I refuse to spend a lot of money on people. I dont visit family untill after christmas as I live quite far away from family, however my family is npot religious at all, they all celebrate it as gift giving, decs up and seeing family
    http://theartycat.co.uk/ – Where my blog and I are

    • Sounds lovely. I managed this year to do something on the 21st, dinner with two wonderful women, and then the following day I did a small devotion to my patrons. It was lovely. And for once the religious side of Christmas was sort of forgotten so I actually had a good one.

      P.S. Thanks for following my blog.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I suffer through the whole thing every year. to the point where I actually go into hiding from Christmas Eve to resurface the day after boxing day..
    I enjoy your posts. Oh one more commonality, I too am learning the Uke. Brand new to music of any kind.
    Keep posting and Happy Strumming
    Bill

    • I know that feeling well Bill. Though hiding was never an option for me. Clashes with my “if you ain’t fighting you’re losing philosophy”. But I have to say it#s one thing that does not get easier with time, I thought it would, but it never has. This year was surprisingly good, but it was only good for a Christmas…meh.

      I’ll have to set a few hours aside during the week to read through your site, but I’m glad you enjoy my pieces. And yes isn’t the uke a wonderful little instrument? Not the pointless frippery so many people paint it as at all. I’ve developed such a love for playing classical music on it, which rather messes with peoples heads when they realise what it is I’m playing. After all a uke’s just for strumming…*sigh*

      Anyway thank you for commenting, and as you say happy strumming, or plucking, or or or. 😉

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