A Secular Christmas
Happy December, everyone!
I have written many posts on this blog. Two of the past posts I have done have been about celebrating Christmas or Yule or the Winter Solstice, after leaving Christian Science.
I have talked about how my Christian Science parents taught me that “Santa Claus isn’t real,” because “we don’t lie to our children.” See “Santa Claus Isn’t Coming to Town.” When I was a bona-fide Christian Scientist, I was one of the biggest champions of the message, “Christmas is about Jesus’ birth! Tell everyone!”
After leaving Christian Science, I thought I became Pagan. I learned of the celebration of “Yule,” on December 21. I have since learned more things and realized I don’t want to celebrate “Yule,” because I think I understand now that it’s a Wiccan thing, and I am not Wiccan. Last year, we celebrated the Winter Solstice, which I will continue to do, and for me, it’s separate from Yule.
My beliefs have changed many times now, and every year, I sit back and re-evaluate what’s important to me. I have done this annual evaluation – since my kids were younger. We even evaluated which Christmas ornaments we liked in our collection, donating the ones we didn’t like, keeping the ones we did.
This year, I finalized a divorce from my kids’ dad. Both of my kids are in their late teens and have chosen to stay at their dad’s house due to good Internet access and their friends being there. I could no longer afford rent in that area and have chosen to move to a different state and start a new life where things are much more affordable for me.
I am flying my kids to see my family in a few days, and we will have an early celebration without a name to it. I will have our little ceramic light-up tree, and stockings I bought for them, filled with things. I am also making all their favorite seasonal cookies.
My larger family (all Christian Scientists) will be there the next day, and we’ll have a big Christmas celebration, opening gifts to each other and having brunch and a special evening meal after spending a day together. That will be a lot of fun.
On the actual Christmas Day, I think it will just be my partner and me and my dogs, like it is every other day of the year. I’m expecting we may have a nice meal we think up (for Thanksgiving this year, my partner grilled us nice steaks, and I made us mashed potatoes and cookies). It’s nice to do things simply, and just focus on who you are with and what is going right in our life right now, rather than having to fuss and work and stress about making it a perfect holiday like we remember when we were kids.
I am making enough Christmas cookies to share with my larger family, my partner’s larger family, and my neighbors. It is fun to just go to homes and wish them a happy day and share cookies. I look forward to doing that with my local neighbors one of these days.
On the Winter Solstice, I will probably still go out and see the sunset. I live in a tiny house now, and don’t have a fireplace or a firepit. So I’ll probably light a candle and maybe burn some tracing paper that has my wishes on it. We shall see. Fire safety is super important to me, I do not want to start a wildfire, so I am always extremely cautious when lighting a candle or a fire. One year, we whispered our wishes into pine cones and placed the pine cones back where we found them, for fae folk to carry our wishes forward. Maybe I will do that this year, too. Who knows. We shall see.
I invite you to consider figuring out what works for you each holiday season, and what doesn’t work for you. Do what you love and don’t do so much that you stress badly about it.
Will you please leave a comment with something you love to do during this season? I would love to see what others do this time of year.
I send you wonderful light and joy for this holiday season!
This site offers support resources to help individuals negotiate a transition in a manner that best fits their needs and convictions. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.