Thanksgiving is past, and, on December first, I always hang our "Advent Calendar" on the wall in the family room near the fireplace. The calendar is fringed burlap with a large, green felt tree in the middle. There are 24 red buttons sewn on the tree.
This was a handmade gift from a dear friend many years ago before I even had children, and my children are now ages 22 and 28.
Each day from December 1st through December 24th, a colorful felt ornaments is taken from a pocket on the calendar, and that ornament is hung on one of the red buttons on the felt tree. There are a snowflake, a drum, a bugle, a holly leaf, a wreath, a snowman, a candy cane, Santa, a reindeer, and so on.
Pocket number 24 always contains "baby Jesus" in half a walnut shell.
I'm fine with most of the colorful and whimsical symbols of the make-believe and romance associated with the season, but will admit that I feel somehow uncomfortable about "baby Jesus".
Upon analysis, I think my discomfort is because it seems fine for adults to enjoy "Let's pretend" with children and even with each other in connection with holidays, but Christians separate the myth of Jesus from all the rest, and deny that the "Jesus story" is as much a fable as that of he elves, the North Pole, Frosty, and Rudolph.
So...I wondered how other atheists handle the Christmas season, in big ways and in little ways.
I'm particularly curious about those of you who have young children. Do you engage in any seasonal make believe with them? Do you introduce them to any of the cultural symbols of the season? If so, do you avoid the manger and wise men and star of Bethlehem?
I dunno about the level of cruelty between now and then. The Koch brothers and the Walton family seem to be totally out of touch with today's culture. If they could get robots to stock shelves, etc. for less money than hiring people at minimum wages, they would do it...and keep on wasting valuable land by building more big box stores, and even bigger parking lots. (And stashing their profits offshore...)
I mean, is there really a shortage of stores in the US?
BTW I have known quite a few people who have overcome prejudice and become successful in areas that were all white 50 years ago (figure skating, for instance), but they did it on their own talent and hard work. And the ability to get along with the rest of humanity.
The first time I saw this woman skate (on live TV in 1950) I knew I had to trade my ballet slippers in for blades, and I did!:
"I have known quite a few people who have overcome prejudice ... on their own talent and hard work."
And having to work three times as hard as if they were white.
Oh, yes! I've attached the best article ever written about Mabel that ran in the Los Angeles Times a couple of years before she died.If it doesn't make you cry and smile, you're not breathing.
She not only created her own show (because none of the big all-white shows would hire her), she coached, and "broke the barrier" for her students...paid for their skates if they couldn't afford them (rental skates have always sucked), got them into the snotty clubs so they could compete, and go to be soloists in Capades, Follies, and Holiday...long after my own skating days were over.
Her memorial service was extraordinary...packed, funny, full of love. The two main speakers were Tai Babilonia and (Rev.) Ocie Smith of "God Didn't make Little Green Apples" fame.
And here it's the same: closure of libraries and community centres, heavy cutting of all social security, welfare and and other benefits.
I remember a biblical tekst about the HAVES getting more and the nonHAVES paying for everything: the xtians should be happy!
What a way to spend a festive season! I hope you get it right soon!
I have 3 or 4 small baking potatoes...one of the assistance places I went to Monday gave me bags and bags of groceries, most of which I can't use because I'm diabetic (white rice, canned fruit sweetened with HFCS, cake mix, stuffing mix...DUH!. Oh, and sprouted grain tortillas that have the taste and texture of cardboard. I guess those are "healthy," and beggars can't be choosy. I just dislike having to beg for anything.)
Anyroad, I DO have some pulled pork and fresh Brussels sprouts...and one pkg of frozen broccoli that you steam in the microwave...I think I'm going to bake a potato till it crackles, and fill it with the pork, and have les petit choux (SP?) on the side. Save the broccoli for tomorrow. Maybe.
December 21 the shortest day of the year?
It wasn't the shortest day for me, in about 1935, when I did something for which my mom sentenced me to my room until dinner time.
When I came out, I complained "I thought today was supposed to be the shortest day of the year!"
Tonya, do you not know how choosing to spend time in a room differs from being ordered to spend time in a room?
Are you perchance studying engineering?