Most of my closest friends know that while I was raised in a church going family, I am not a particularly religious person. I am spiritual, to a point, but I don’t believe that any one needs religion to be a good person, or conversely that the lack of religion leads one to do evil things.
I also don’t see the difference between any of the organized ones, other than regional trappings, when you get right down too it. At the core of all of the ones I have investigated, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Wicca, Judaism, Hinduism, Humanism, etc. the premise seems to be pretty simple, “Treat everything with respect and love.” That is a sentiment I can get behind. That is also a teaching I think many modern “religious” figures have totally forgotten.
But this is not a post about religion. It is a post about the holiday season, which I call Christmas simply because that is what I have always known it as. I have friends who call it lots of different things, but really at the end of the day it is about family, community, hope, giving, food, and of course, music. I may not be terribly religious, but I do absolutely love Christmas carols.
Maybe it is the memories they stir in me. Maybe it is just the power of an old familiar song well done. But these are tunes that can quickly bring be to heights of joy, often with tears in my eyes at the melodies. I particularly enjoyed last year’s Penatonix Christmas CD and dug it out from under the seat in my truck to listen to it on my long drive this past weekend.
However, this year is different.
Maybe it is the depressing hateful news I cannot seem to escape. Maybe it is the fear and ignorance I see friends and relatives spreading in the guise of religion. Maybe it is the fact that is hasn’t snowed here yet, or the fact that I am working retail this year. Maybe it is the knowledge that we won’t be travelling, or that all the holiday shopping is already done. Maybe it is the lack of baking, or the fact that the kids are not our of school yet, or whatever. But the point is that I really don’t feel the spirit of the holidays yet.
Sure, I wrote a novelette about the season, and I am moved by it (which is sorta odd to say about your own work, but I will say it – it is a moving story. It makes me glow with warmth when I reach the end,) but with the exception of the afore mentioned CD, I can’t even handle Xmas carols on the radio this year, they annoy me to no end for some reason.
I don’t want to be a Scrooge. I don’t want to be a humbug. So, I am going to ask you all for help, but I am also going to make it fun.
For the next four days, maybe even longer, starting on Tuesday I will be running a raffle thingy on the Wicked Clever facebook page. Each day I will post a picture and a prompt, asking my friends and fans to share and comment to help spread their own happy memories of the holiday season.
And each day I will randomly choose a winner from those who have responded to receive a free copy of my holiday novelette, How Gandersnitch the Goblin ALMOST Saved Christmas. So please, if you are not already on our Wicked Clever page, jump on now and play along.
Oh, and Happy Holidays to you all, no matter how you celebrate.