It's almost that time of year called... the holiday season. The time of year where everyone tries to prove how "woke" they are with discussions of the "truth" behind the holidays. Facebook post after Instagram post after Buzzfeed list will try to shame us into being glum over our ancestors' mistakes instead of being joyful about a present they would probably hate. This is why, instead of "The Holiday Season," I think I might start calling it, simply "holiday season." You know, like "duck season." It's the time of year to go around sniping at the holidays.
Set your sights on the kids who are either worshiping Satan or Walmart on Halloween. Hard to tell which... or if they're the same entity. Pew! Goblin down! Trick or treat?! Bam! Diabetes!
Set your sights on the WASPy family who still loves to spend time and share a fantastic meal with family or friends on Thanksgiving by reminding them of the Native American Genocide. Bang! Downer gun fired! Pass the maize! Ouch! Arrow to the heart!
Set your sights on the Christian family who only goes to church on holidays anyway (because most of the year they don't like the homophobia, sexism and judmentalism of most organized religions). Tell them that God isn't real and the holiday is based on a Dionysian solstice sex party or something. Bam! Santa's sleigh crashed! Manger burned! Sex toys down the chimney!
Tell your Jewish friends, with a patronizing glaze over your judgmental eyes that Hannukah is “interesting” and it seems “fun," even if their family is loaded and gets a new car every day for seven days. Tell them how you are offended every time you hear Merry Christmas, and they should be offended too! Even though the wishes come from people who mean them no ill will. What’s a Maccabee, anyway? What kind of honey do they make? Is it that the candles made from Maccabeeswax don’t burn as well as oil lanterns? Nobody knows! Yarmulkes are funny! Good thing the Jews have a sense of humor!
Tell your Muslim friends that Ramadan is oppressive whenever that happens. Tell them, “I don’t know what that is but you have the right to believe whatever you want unless you believe something I don’t want you to believe." Well, tell it to the brown Muslims, not the black ones. We're too scared to tell the black ones anything. Although, I’m pretty sure I should be offended about whatever it is they might be thinking.
Tell everyone that if their holiday doesn't include what's at the heart of everyone, then it can't be shared by anyone! That will protect your bullied inner child!
Or wait. How about we all just be happy for the people who aren't like us who have their own reasons to be happy. Even if their mysterious mascot wears different clothes and spoke a different language than yours did.
Please, tell us all the truth behind all the holidays. No one deserves to be happy if you can find a fault in their celebration. But, of course, there's fault to be found in every celebration.
Or wait, maybe the truth "behind" the holiday isn't the point. The truth of how the holiday came about isn't nearly as important as the truth of the present of the holiday.
Halloween? Go nuts? Be a slutty nurse or a guy from TV for a night. Who cares? It's not The Purge. I'm staying inside and watching Charlie Brown.
Thanksgiving? Be thankful that for the most part, most Americans now see most other Americans as equally human whereas they didn't before. (Or at least, we’re supposed to. It would behoove our souls to do so.) Be thankful for progress and increased wisdom as we, as a people progress. Be thankful you can celebrate whatever you’re thankful for. Be thankful about whatever the hell you want to be thankful about. As for me, I’m thankful for holiday episodes of seventies sitcoms. Let’s seek those out on the net!
Don't believe in God? You can still enjoy the time that the short winter days give you with your loved ones in close quarters, huddled together in someone's home. Hell, bring gifts if you want. Don't if you don't want. In fact, in regards to all the winter holidays: I’m one of the weird people who love winter. I also love the people that I love. Wow! Let’s combine them! Maybe the winter togetherness will help combat the Seasonal Affective Disorder that some of my loved ones get as they anticipate the return of the sun in it’s chariot.
I ain't "woke" but I ain't sleeping either. Meaning is in every person and in every relationship. Holidays just make it convenient for people to agree on a time to make and perform that meaning together with the ones they love or even just the ones they don't mind sharing a day with. If you don’t like holidays, recognize that, respect that and move on with your life. Some of us are trying to get a moment of joy in this bizarre, complicated existence on Earth as a human.
Personally, I don't believe in summer. Global warming being celebrated and used in order to get skin cancer? Psshhh.
But I'll probably be at the beach come next Memorial Day. Why? Not for the soldiers. (When did sand or beaches ever make an active duty soldier happy?) I’ll be there for the friendship of other humans. The holiest thing.