Friday, December 5, 2014

oh mistletoe

i'm not a winter holiday person.
my friends know that most of my holiday energy goes into halloween. after that, i struggle. winter has always been hard for me--i suffer from a mental illness that always seems to challenge me more when it's cold, whether it's because i stay inside more or don't get as much vitamin d or whatever. i am lucky in that treatment has been very, very effective for me, and for the past few years i have been very mentally healthy. still, there are times when i struggle, and winter seems to make these times worse.

i'm also not very religious--my dad is jewish and my mom is a lapsed catholic. my parents together decided that when my sister and i were young we would start attending nondenominational unitarian-universalist services at the local congregation; my dad once referred to this as an 'inoculation' against fanatically following a religion. much of the sunday school classes were focused on learning about world religions and traditions held by them instead of focusing on one particular set of beliefs, so it was a really interesting experience to get to celebrate these different cultures--and even visit some of their religious ceremonies through the sunday school program.

i find myself now with a strong set of spiritual beliefs and a rather weak set of religious ones. i practice witchcraft because i feel like it connects me with myself, others, and nature--things that are important to me because i live in a city where these connections are often hard to find. i'm a solitary practitioner, without a coven, and that's what's comfortable to me. as such, i celebrate the traditional holidays like samhain and yule, but i also try very hard not to take things too seriously.

as a result i have some pretty weird holidays.

there's hanukkah with my dad, christmas with my mom, and yule with myself. how did someone who doesn't much like any of the winter holidays end up celebrating three of them?

each of these holidays is very special to me, and i've combined them to celebrate in my own special way. i sometimes call it 'hexmas'.

here's my hexmas sweater!

and here's my hexmas tree! it's a bit hard to see because there's a lot going on but i have eyeball and witch ornament baubles, a little bride of frankenstein, a bat, a witch hat (an ornament and the one on the top), some spiders, some little crows, and a bat garland!

is there any special way you celebrate your holidays?


Laura Morrigan said...

I love your idea of Hexmas! I was brought up by two patents who rebekled against Christian school or upbringing to be athiests, but I was always interested in spirituality and other religions. I would say I am sort of pagan abd getting mote interested in learning how to celebrate these things.

Shybiker said...

Wow, buddy. I don't ever recall you opening up this much. I'm learning so much new stuff about you. Thank you for sharing.

Like you, my parents were of different religions. Although they wanted their kids to have "some religion," that's only because they equated religion with morality. (A false equation.) From their lack of practicing any religion, I got the message that religion isn't important.

I have spiritual beliefs but they don't fit into an organized religion. My first girlfriend Maura was a Wiccan and she introduced me to witchcraft and covens, etc. but I don't practice it.

My approach to the holiday season is secular -- I use it as an opportunity to see my (often-neglected) friends. I take a little time off work to re-connect with people I care about. Friendship is my true religion.

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