A lot happened in 2009. Remember Obama? Yeah, his presidency started in 2009. It seems longer doesn't it? We lost a lot of people in 2009; some famous and some I'd not heard about until doing a search. The US went into then came out of a recession. Swine Flu reared it's sickly head. Climate change became a big political topic. And the world was rocked by tsunamis and earthquakes.
Locally, two people in our house became roller derby girls. Both Ms. A and LMA started skating over the summer. Mom got into TXRD and daughter skated for Derby Brats. Both of them love the sport and will continue to pursue it in 2010.
Ms A. and Miss LA got engaged.
All of the adults went back to school as well. Ms. A started in Fall of 2009 by going to ACC. Miss LA and I will be starting in Spring of 2010. I'm going for a degree in Art and Miss LA is going for a medical technician degree. Ms. A is studying to be a social worker. I didn't draw or build as much in 2009, but I wrote a lot and watched a lot of TV. I quit smoking and started running.
G-man started kindergarten in the fall. So far he loves it and his teacher is a wonderful lady who loves all the kids and has a great time teaching. He's made new friends but still plays a lot with his sister (when she lets him, that is.) LMA did Destination Imagination AND Math Pentathlon. She started 3rd grade in the fall and continues to get high marks in school.
This last year has given us a lot of opportunities to change and for the most part we took them. 2010 promises more change and more adventure and I hope we're all up to the task.
So Yule 2009 will have special significance. While Ms. A and Miss LA's plans to have a commitment ceremony have fallen through, there will no doubt be a lot of merry-making around our house. We'll awake on the 22nd to see what Santa has brought, share a nice breakfast, play with our new toys and then likely try to take naps. (The adults.) I'm sure the kids will be high on new toy smell for at least a week. We'll then likely spend the 25th finding an open restaurant in which to have dinner, as is our tradition.
Something struck me in this past week. Twice actually. The first was from a few comments made on this site (which I sadly had to delete) and the other from a holiday parade we attended last weekend. People believe Santa Claus has something to do with the real Christmas.
And by "people" I mean Christians. And by "something to do with" I mean "was at the nativity." A parade float we saw actually had a Santa kneeling in prayer in front of The Manger. The comment left on this site was, "If you guys don't believe in Christmas, why do you have so many pictures with Santa Claus?"
I'd like to address this because I do it every year, but it bears repeating: Christmas is a Pagan holiday.
Ok, technically "Christmas" is Christ Mass and yes it celebrates the birth of Jesus which happened some time in June. And yes it was taken by the Romans to go along with the Germanic mid winter festivals when they went steaming through Europe and needed to appease everyone. Just think about it for a second, were there any pine trees in Nazareth? Snow even? Elves? Were any of the gifts left in stockings above the sheep and mules and oxen? The the wise men come in on a sleigh?
No. No, not really, no.
Santa Claus is Odin. He's a different spirit from a different realm than Christendom altogether. In fact, some Christians believe that Santa is a hurtful lie perpetuated by commercial interests in the United States and some European countries. It removes the true meaning of Christmas from the holiday and teaches children to believe in a false idol.
To say a Pagan, then, can't believe in Santa is ludicrous. Santa was a Pagan god first, a Christian co-opt second. To say Santa is some how tied to the story of the birth of Jesus or his teachings is akin to saying George Washington was a great Civil War general or that da Vinci was the first man in space. It's just not true.
But, here's the kicker. You don't have to be of any faith to believe in Santa Claus. Just like you don't have to be of any faith to believe in snow or mistletoe or bells or ribbons or wassail or gift giving. Just because it's not technically right doesn't make it morally wrong. I believe what I want to and so do you, dear reader. If I want to believe that a giant bell goes from house to house delivering candy on Easter, the Christian thing to do would be to let me believe it, not give me reasons why I'm going to hell because of it.
My choice to believe in what I believe is inherent with being a sentient human being. My appreciating others' beliefs and letting them do as they will is inherent with being a compassionate human being. If I were to think less of someone because they don't believe what I believe, it turns out, that's inherent with being a Christian.
Happy Yule everyone.
(PS, I didn't intentionally turn commenting off, but Haloscan is moving to a pay only service so I'm trying to enable Blogger commenting. I'll try to make sure it works.)
at 11:25 AM