Unless you’re the five-year old child of Ozzie and Harriett, you’ve had at least a couple stressful holiday seasons. Quite possibly you’ve had far too many stressful times at Christmas and it’s even possible you have excellent reasons for dreading at least the second half of December. Thanks to the Celts, Romans, and Jews, I really doubt Christmas is going anywhere any time soon. So you have two choices, take a two or three-week cruise to the Bahamas or Mediterranean or make peace with Christmas.
If you decide to make peace with it, here are a few interesting facts and opinions to help you. First, December 25 is NOT Jesus’ birthday. He most likely was born sometime in April. Shepherds have no reason to be watching flocks at night in the dead of winter. The only time they stand watch all night is in the spring when the lambs are born to ensure there are no complications and that the babies are safe from predators until mom recovers enough to guard them. Second, December 21 is the Winter solstice and Celtics celebrated by bringing in the Yule Log, feasting and paying homage to Mother Earth giving birth to the New Sun (Son) of the coming spring. Roman rulers combined the two festivals in the hopes of converting Celts to Christianity. There are many other Celtic-Druid practices which Christians have incorporated into their traditional Christmas celebrations. Third, the Jewish Festival of Lights or Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev (traditionally this is different from our December 25 because the Jewish calendar is not the same as the Gregorian calendar we use). Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple, which again has nothing to do with Jesus’ birthday or the Celtic Yule celebration. Fourth, the Western world (the greedy, selfish Americans referred to by other countries) have taken a time of year previously designated for spiritual respect, homage, renewal, hope and rebirth, and turned it into a ‘lets see who can spend the most money and track statistics to see where they spend it’ season. While giving little, if any, respect or celebration to Jesus, Celtic Yule, Hanukkah or any other spiritual reverence for the earth, spirits or Divine creation.
So, how do you take this and make peace with a stressful holiday? Start by figuring out what part(s) of this season you do like. Maybe its just one thing, and that’s okay. Concentrate on what you do like and reject or at least ignore the rest of it. If you really can’t think of even one enjoyable aspect of the season, go on that two – three-week cruise. Then, make it clear in the kindest way possible, to those around you, what you can and cannot tolerate about the season. If the others in your house feel differently, discuss ways you can all enjoy the season in your own ways. Finally, remember, what the season started out as literally thousands of years ago, is not what it is today. Therefore, research your heritage, find your roots, and build new traditions and celebrations based on what resonates with you. Or, if you must, just make something up. It’s your life, and the Divine who created you knows how you feel and why. You have control over this and can take the stress and transform it into whatever makes you happy.
I can assist you with finding ways to deal with the season at firstname.lastname@example.org