Tag Archives: family

Conflicted over Christmas?

This comes up every year.

For one thing, how do I, as a practicing Catholic, greet people during the holiday season? I get the feeling that “Happy Holidays” sells Christmas short. So this year, I’ve been mainly wishing people a Merry Christmas, with the understanding that although they may not be celebrating the religious aspect of the holiday, odds are they’re celebrating the secular side. (Unless they are Jewish, which would mean they wouldn’t appreciate it at all.) For the most part the ‘experiment’ has gone well, but I think a few people have given pause or not wished me a Merry Christmas back. And that’s okay with me.
— I have to wonder if they have the same problems in other parts of the world. Like in the United Kingdom, specifically in England, I know they wish people a “Happy Christmas” —

Every year, I become increasingly aware of the dichotomy of Christmas. There’s the religious side as Christians everywhere are celebrating the birthday of their Savior’s birth to varying degrees of fervency. I notice that my church always feels the most packed during Christmas and Easter Masses, because of all the ‘Christmas and Easter’ Catholics come out of the woodwork.

Then there’s the secular side. Retailers want us to go into a shopping frenzy to buy gifts for EVERYONE we know. I usually am pretty broke come Christmas and most years I haven’t gotten my family anything. Sometimes I do though. This year and last year I’ve gotten my Parents and my brother clothing that they need, long sleeve shirts mostly. And I remember one year I got my mother and grandmother kitchen accessories

And I know Jesus wasn’t born on or around Decemb.er 25th. It doesn’t make sense for shepherds to be out in the fields tending to their flocks overnight in winter. I know that there was already several Pagan holidays and traditions revolving around the Winter Solstice and the Church moved the birthday to fit into those celebrations. The Yule Log, The Christmas Tree, all came from the Pagan side.

When A Charlie Brown Christmas came out during the 60s, there was already a sharp increase in commercialism and the secularization of the Holiday. In fact many of Charlie Brown’s friends are obssesded with gifts and giving Santa a long list. Charlie Brown himself feels depressed because he can’t find the true meaning of Christmas. Linus says he knows and then quotes The Gospel of Luke:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

People may not believe in the religious side of Christmas, but most still believe in the common good of men (and women) and peace on earth. That is perhaps, the real meaning of Christmas.

And so, I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS, but also I hope you find comfort and joy and good tidings this weekend with your family and others you enjoy spending time with.

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A Thankful Post

I’ve heard people say online that Thanksgiving is the true American holiday, more than Christmas. And I agree with them. There are so many different versions of Christmas, and the celebrations vary around the world and around the country. But Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving. No matter where you go – Except maybe Canada 😉

I am always mindful of how lucky I am. I have been given wonderful opportunities in life and also feel blessed. I always celebrate Thanksgiving by serving Mass. (It’s not a holy day, but especially since I’ve gone off to school, I love coming back to my home parish for Thanksgiving break) and then a family dinner. My father is one of seven so there’s always lots of family for the holiday. 

This year I am thankful for the people around me – both in Real Life and online. I’m thankful for my family, for my health (I’m so fortunate that both my Crohn’s and Depression are under control) and for my success at school. Everyday I thank the big guy upstairs for all my gifts but today especially I want to give thanks.

I am thankful for you reading this too! 🙂

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Third Time’s the Charm – Family Knots

Welcome to another edition of Inside the Writer’s Studio.
First time it is a new piece of  writing. My writer’s workshop is focusing on the family drama this semester. Also we are doing a lot of reading too. This piece was partly inspired by Medea, though the connection is very, very extreme. I was in class when my Professor asked about the themes. I was thinking about how Jason seemed to just disown Medea to marry Kreon’s daughter. What if I wrote a piece about second families? What happens to those left behind in the first family?

Once again, an image formed in my mind of two daughters at their fathers grave. One of them would be full of spite while the younger one wouldn’t. In my mind, the age difference was that the dad walked out 5 years ago when the older one was  14 and the younger sister was only 10. I was trying to have the older girl desecrate a grave but I didn’t know how to do it without the girl act younger than her age. (I had her spit on the grave, and then kick it)  Writers Club definitely helped me change things around.

Here’s The Google link.

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