The cure for holiday stress is to celebrate YOUR holiday, not other people’s.
Christmas cards – CHECK!
Gifts mailed to out of state family (which is everybody except the hubster and the padawan) – CHECK!
Cookies – batch one, devoured – CHECK!
More cookies coming? You betcha.
All that is left is a grocery store run for the big meal itself.
This has been the lowest key, biggest Zen, fewest fucks given Christmas ever. I probably forgot something really big and embarrassing. But then there is the part about fewest….well, you know.
Here we are over a year on, and I’m still niggled about the name change. I think the big niggles come from the big symbolism. Rebranding to the TaoCraft Tarot name is both a stage of life evolution and a giant step out of several self imposed closets. This year and this holiday season is filled with more authenticity than ever. TaoCraft is starting to feel lived-in and cozy.
It never fails to amaze me how there seems to be a Tarot card for everything…even the long slow process of sweeping Christmas out my psyche. It is one of the hardest things to let go, but still necessary to release. When it comes to tradition wrangling, the High Priest is just the thing. Or, from the opposite side of the same coin, rejecting the pope / hierophant is just the thing.
For a recovering fundamentalist, there can be a lot of mixed feelings and internal conflicts this time of year. Not only do you have to come to some sort of terms with family relationships (or the lack of them for those who ‘come out’ and are rejected) but you also have to come to terms with your feelings about the extant holiday itself. What do you do about pleasant childhood memories or a desire for all of the things about Christmas that are, after all, truly enjoyable? How do you celebrate the good stuff while letting go of the toxic stuff? In spite of the feelings at the time, looking back, all the things I cherish most about ‘Christmas’ has zero to do with the religious parts of the holiday. By letting go of christian christmas, I lose nothing.
My ethos has always been to make some pro forma gestures and try to keep the peace with religious family members. After all, evangelicals and fundamentalist respond well to sweeping things like that under the rug. With visions of the Ghost of Christmas Present dancing in my head, I’d remind myself that a simple little card was a small thing to do to reach out to my fellow humans, and honor whatever thread of relationship may persist. Still, it felt like *I* was putting a lot of time and effort and postage into *their* holiday. Right or wrong, that is a recipe for stress and resentment. We who have “left the faith” are thought to have left the holidays too. We have been so ‘othered’ that it takes a deliberate effort to find some sort of common ground with Christmas much less see a new path through the holiday season. It is hard to see a current spiritual or secular path through all the haze of Christmases past. It is conflicting to want to engage with the larger, more spiritual symbolism of the season but not the narrow christian-only aspects.
This year, for once, feels different. By scaling everything way back, enough evangelical energy is drained away that I can finally claim this as a holiday of my own. Call it Yule. Call it Solstice. Call it Festivus. Yes, there will still be a tree (no star on top) cookies, egg nog, gingerbread, lights, that plastic garland that I love despite it’s vintage cheesiness, and the whole holly jolly thing. But this year it’s MY holly jolly secular pagan thing. It a small and happy thing to mail gifts and write cards and bake and do when it all done in celebration of MY holiday instead of as a conciliatory gesture toward theirs. If it has some surface appearances in common with *their* holiday, so be it. But Christmas is not me. Not anymore.
When you were raised in the evangelical fundamentalist sub-culture, it is easy to forget that acting FOR something is vastly different than acting in compliance WITH something. You have every right to YOUR holiday traditions even if they are shiny new self-created ones. You have every right to celebrate nothing at all.
The moment we stop celebrating other people’s holidays all of the seasonal stress vanishes.
I give no energy to Christmas. Pumpkin soup to roasted chestnuts, Thanksgiving to New Year, I am celebrating Yule, Solstice, Festivus, all things cinnamon, cookies, egg nog and the light of the human spirit.
You may not be celebrating those things. Jesus may be the one and only reason for your season, which is just fine. But that is not why I send these wishes. From a place of holiday spirit, from a place of those things deeply meaningful to me….I wish you all a season of love, happiness, health, safety and prosperity.
Wishing you all the best throughout the holidays and the New Year
Speaking of the holidays…I’ll be available for email Tarot readings throughout the entire month of December. There may be some delays in delivery while I get the cookies out of the oven, watch Christmas Vacation for the third time or baste the ham, but be patient. I will get your reading to you. Email readings do not need an appointment, order HERE any time.
In-person and party tarot will be closed Dec 20, 2019 through Jan. 2, 2020.
But did I mention email Tarot is open? It’s my specialty, you know.