I normally go to the trouble of at least putting up a few bits and bobs, but this year I just can't be bothered for some reason. It just feels too early to be bothering right now, even though Christmas seems to be all over the show.
And I don't know if I can be bothered at all this year? Christmas hasn't got the same charm it used to have IMO. Even the TV has been rubbish in recent years. I like spending time with the family and that but the cold weather makes that a chore since I have to walk several miles to get to my mums place and then back again pissed up, or a night on a sofa.
The parents will probably put a tree up. Myself? I view Christmas as a time of economic loss. Even if you get the things you want, you didn't want them enough to buy them for yourself during the year. And assuming you spend roughly the same amount of money on your relatives as they on you, then in economic terms all you've really done is purchased things you didn't consider worth purchasing.
The good part of Christmas is the food, and sometimes the company. The rest of it? I'd honestly rather not bother with.
Fortunately, not watching TV, going shopping or listening to the radio, I don't hear much about Christmas. It does seem to have come around bloody fast this year.
"Slippery slopes can be fun - kind of like a water slide."
- Larry, Burn Notice
I am not a Christian. In fact, I rather dislike Christianity entirely. That said, I do not celebrate this holiday.
Winter solstice festivals were celebrated before Christianity. By Northern pagans but in more official contexts in the ancient Rome as well where it was called Saturnalia. Christmas still goes by the pagan name of yule in Northern Europe.
It's not like most people find it a very religious thing anyway. That said, I think it's ridiculous that Brussels for example didn't erect a christmas tree this year because 'it might offend' some people.
I like Christmas. Having a big celebration in the middle of winter strikes me as an awesome thing to do. I can't say I give a shit about extremist Christians and their whining about any "War on Christmas", but I admit that I haven't seen a manger scene that I've thought was well-done. I lean far more towards the pagan when it comes to decoration, and don't really go for the Christian attempts to make it their holiday (although they clearly have had success, since I'm calling it Christmas and not Yule or Winter Solstice Celebration or something). I mean, having a tree in your house is awesome, I just want to build a house that has several different rooms with different tree that are actually alive. Preferably growing through the roof, as well, but in some way that doesn't wreck everything. Giving gifts might be a drain on the wallet, but thinking about other people and their desires and fulfilling those is a nice feeling, and having others do the same for you's awesome too.
As for decorations: We're chopping down a coniferous tree, hauling it into our house, covering it in bright colorful lights and maybe shiny balls (I don't recall how the cats take to those), and stewing lines of colorful lights outside of our house for a few weeks. Eventually we'll have a small pile of gifts at the base of the tree, since we decided to minimize the amount of things that we're getting each other and having one family member buy a gift for one other, instead of everyone buying something for everyone else (or combining efforts/funds to do that). Fairly simple, although the setting up of the tree and its removal can be a hassle. Pretty secular, I think. Just shiny things and pretty trees.
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