re: holiday

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Clettko
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re: holiday

Post by Clettko » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:10 pm

The christian holiday of Christmas is fast approaching and I'm hoping someone can help me as to how I should handle family/friends with whom I have always celebrated this holiday with. There will be no Navity scene on our mantle this year and I'm not even sure about a Christmas tree, what do I say to my two brothers-in-law (one is a Baptist minister, the other is also born again)!! ](*,) My husband is o.k. with how I now feel about this Christian holiday we have always celebrated, although we never did the midnight mass thing, in fact, I could never get my husband to go to church. I just want to avoid any confict and/or scenes with his family. As it is, we are already going to burn in hell because we're "not saved."

Any help would greatly be appreciated. flyaway:

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Re: re: holiday

Post by forgotten oceans » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:16 pm

Um....Christmas trees are very pagan. I'm not even sure the middle east even has pine trees, of course I could be wrong. For the longest I wouldn't believe Oklahoma had grass, you ever see a map of Ok.? It looks just like west Texas on a map, and west Texas is dirt and scrub oak and mesquite trees. So, lesson learned, there is grass in Oklahoma, and I on occasion am wrong. But, really, X-mas trees, sooo pagan. As is a lot of Christmas-y things, glass balls, candles, holly, mistletoe, Santa and his reindeer, garlands made of fruit and popcorn for birds, seed bells, really just about any of it can be adapted. Get creative! If you have children they can help out there, I don't, but I hear the imagination of a child is limitless.

The real point of the holidays is to have fun, enjoy spending time with loved ones. I'm pretty sure there's nothing in Wicca that says you can't share holidays with other faiths, but again, I could be wrong, as I'm not Wiccan. Besides, I haven't heard many horror stories where people went out of their way to ruin Christmas over something like belief differences. You're probably just nervous, but should anything come up, just say that both religion and politics really aren't something you feel is appropriate conversation...ever. Be sure to smile while you say it, and follow with a food question, something that pertains to the menu. That little line works wonders, and yes I've used it. Tested and approved ! :thumbright: Best of luck and Blessings. >:D<
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Kystar » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:25 pm

The Christmas tree was drawn from the pagan tradition of bring evergreen boughs (Branches) into the house. They were arranged in swags over windows and doors and mantles, decorated with red ribbons, bows, glass stars and suns, and occasionally candles. Holly was worked in with the evergreen boughs. Ivy was also used, with mistletoe.

In MOST cases, the evergreen boughs and holly represented the Holly King, lord of the dark half of the year. The Ivy and Mistletoe represented the Oak King, ruler of the light half of the year. I think there was also significance about the upcoming transition of power between the two, but I never studied the myths enough. I know that Yule is the rebirth of the Sun, sometimes associated with the Oak King, or the Mother's Consort...but I'm not 100% sure.

In Victorian times, their habit of taking things and blowing them all out of proportion...and some desires to return to "simpler times" or "their roots" caused people to bring in full trees instead of just the boughs, and decorate them.
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:25 am

I'm not sure about your relationship with your family, but if there are ever "remarks" made from Fundies in my husband's extended family or friends, I just make a very firm and non-violent return. For example, I attended my SO's friend's baptism, and the friend and his mom were singing to the church songs. I'll move with them and all, but I won't sing words I don't believe in. They were harassing me to sing, until finally I said, firmly, "I'm not singing what I don't believe." Now, in a church situation where everyone is having a good time, that will shut most people up. In a room of family, it will just cause chaos if your family doesn't already know your beliefs. When asked about no Xmas tree, perhaps say, "We're just not sure that the symbolism feels right this year," and leave it at that. If they press further, say you are studying further into these matters but have not come to your conclusion, and so don't feel comfortable discussing it. You can say that to most hard questions. "Until I find my place on that, I don't feel comfortable discussing it," or if you know your place, "I'm not comfortable discussing this."

Honestly, if things get heated, it IS your home. If one of your family members decides to push and prod and start criticizing, be up front and true to yourself. "I respect your feelings on the matter; however, in my home, you may respect mine, keep your mouth shut (or opinions to yourself), or get out," should work nicely.

Again, I'm not sure how your family operates. I'm OK with telling family to get out of my house if they disrespect my religion, food choices, or career. I will always create a loving and appreciative atmosphere for them, and will not openly criticize; I sort of demand the same. After a few initial "words" when many relationships started, they have learned to keep criticisms to themselves if they are not willing to learn about my choices before they judge and go on their soapbox. If you're not comfortable with that, make a list of potential questions they might ask, and your responses. It's probably quite unlikely they will even get asked, but it's great for peace of mind. Try to have answers that are true to you but not upsetting to a Fundy. For example, when asked if I believe in Jesus as a saviour, I say, "Yes I believe in Jesus. Great guy." That is true to me. If I said, "Yes," that would mean I believed in him as my saviour, but I repeated the part of their question that I could say yes to. I don't know about you, but I can't lie to people, especially about me and my religion. My words jumble. It just tastes bad.

Hope that help a bit. If you have something more specific we can try to help best we can.
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Willow
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Willow » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:21 am

I find that balance is always best but be armed with education.

Did you knwo some Christians don't decorate Christmas trees because there is a prohibition against it. If they say, "well that is the old testament," ask them where their aversions to gay marriage come from.

You don't need to go to church, but there is nothing wrong with celebrating Yule or solstice with some of the traditions from your family. You can even wish them a Merry Christmas, because that is what they celebrate, just as I wish my Jewish friends and family happy Hannukah. Paganism is not like Christianity where we are called to be martyrs for our faith. If you are comfortable causing tension, go ahead, but if that isn't for you, play it cool, do your own thing and only explain if someone else makes a fuss.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Hytegia » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:14 am

I'm not going to say to lie:

But there's nothing in Wicca or Paganism that states that you have to be upfront about everything, or that you can't Party with someone else's Gods. Infact, I think a key point in my beliefs is that they ALL work - just with a different head at the top.
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Kitsune » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:06 pm

Personally, I struggled with the idea of Christmas quite a bit after I became Pagan. I love christmas and the season, but I felt very uncomfortable with the religion.

I searched for many years and finally found what works for me... I will put up a Solstice Tree, decorate it, I will bake large amounts of cookies and cakes and tarts for me and my friends, and I will buy Christmas presents for my Christian family. I visit all of our family on Dec. 24th if possible, and spend Christmas relaxing. Solstice Night me and my husband have a ritual and we give each other gifts on the Thirteenth Night, usually happening on January 1.

It's a crazy mish-mesh of stuff, but it works for me. I refuse to do church on Christmas Eve though, telling people I celebrated the "birth of the Sun" just a few days ago. :badgrin:

Basically, do what makes you feel comfortable, and really do some soul searching for what that is. It isn't worth it to get frustrated over such minor things.

Personally, I won't kick my family out for saying I'm going to Hell, but I will tell them that if they expect me to show any respect for their faith, then they'd better show the same respect for mine.
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Re: re: holiday

Post by Dark Waters » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:24 pm

Going along with what others have said here. Almost every religion has some celebration this time of year at or around the Solstice. Generally our branches of faiths call it Yule/Jule but it really doesn't matter the name, hence the phrase Happy Holidays. Beyond purposes of faith, feel free to celebrate the secular holiday just for getting time off. It's as good a reason as any other.

Decorations - many Christians don't bother with a full on Nativity scene in their yards or homes, so you shouldn't worry about not having one. Trees can be general purpose depending on the decorations, and either be non-denominational celebrations of family, where everyone has their favorite decorations, or be a Yule tree with lights and ribbons.

Unlike other faiths, Paganism doesn't forbid being with people of other faiths. As Willow and Hygetia said, have fun and wish them the best of their holiday celebrations. Personally, I feel that as a Wiccan/Pagan - I could walk into a Church, Synagogue or Mosque without issues as long as I show the proper respect for the place - head covering, no shoes, whatever - and not be heretical by praising a diety I don't follow. Like CHL said, go if you are invited for some family function or event, but you don't have to sing the songs.

However, if the family gets obnoxious about it - you could always point out that the Bible never actually says that their God is the only one, just that they are supposed to worship Him before all others.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Willow
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Willow » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:24 am

However, if the family gets obnoxious about it - you could always point out that the Bible never actually says that their God is the only one, just that they are supposed to worship Him before all others.
Good call.

I feel I should also mention, I do attend midnight mass with my husband as something that works for us and I am kind of still attached in some ways to my Christian beliefs, so I really do mush the two holidays together.

Besides, I could never give up Santa, while I don't believe in a real, live, jolly (and white) fat man giving gifts, I do believe in cultivating the spirit of generosity, something I let Santa stand for (and Saint Nickolas, though that story is something different in and of itself).
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Kitsune » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:03 pm

I little off-topic, but I found Lyrics for the song 'Santa Clause is Pagan too", a brilliant little ditty by Emerald Rose.

Santa Claus is Pagan, Too!
(words & music by Emerald Rose)
Oh, Santa Claus is Pagan too, just like all the rest
And if you are a merry witch he`ll bring you all the best
So get that star up on the roof, and bake those cookies, too
For Christmas-time is really Yule, and Santa`s Pagan too!

Hes got that Buddha belly and his top`s the Holly King
You dressed him in that British coat, the cap`s a Nordic thing
You took the horns right off his head and stuck them on his deer
But he still flies high like Jupiter with a belly-full of beer!

Oh, Santa Claus is Pagan too, just like all the rest
And if you are a merry witch he`ll bring you all the best
So get that star up on the roof, and bake those cookies, too
For Christmas-time is really Yule, and Santa`s Pagan too!

Now history says Christ was likely not a Capricorn
But if you want to share the Yule, we don`t care when he's born
Come join the celebration of the Sun King`s bright rebirth
And if you practice what you preach, we`ll all have peace on Earth!

Oh, Santa Claus is Pagan too, just like all the rest
And if you are a merry witch he`ll bring you all the best
So get that star up on the roof, and bake those cookies, too
For Christmas-time is really Yule, and Santa`s Pagan too!

Now Santa`s way more jolly than most Christians might require
And if he weren`t so busy he'd be dancing `round the fire
Yeah, you can call it Christmas `cause you got us way out-gunned
But just you wait till Beltane, then we`ll see who`s having fun!

Oh, Santa Claus is Pagan too, just like all the rest
And if you are a merry witch he`ll bring you all the best
So get that star up on the roof, and bake those cookies, too
For Christmas-time is really Yule, and Santa`s Pagan too!
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

http://www.bamatthews.comThe Writings and Musings of B.A. Matthews

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white_harmony
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Re: re: holiday

Post by white_harmony » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:41 pm

=D> Love it Kitsune! Absolutely love it! :-D
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Willow
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Willow » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:24 am

thanks for that, I had a feeling there was a poem like that around here somewhere.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Kitsune
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Kitsune » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:41 am

I'll throw a YouTube link for it up in Crazy's Youtube Section. Actually, I have a whole slew of Yule songs... I'll see which ones I can find YouTube Links for and put them all up. None of that "Walking in a Wiccan Wonderland" either! Real Yule songs that were made for Yule instead of being adapted back to it.

I only have about ten right now, but I'll see what I can do. At the very least I'll get you guys the names of the songs.

However, I won't have time to search YouTube for them until after Nano is over... It's T-Minus 5 days till Nano is done and I have another 20,500 words to go to his my goal... ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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white_harmony
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Re: re: holiday

Post by white_harmony » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:03 pm

Whenever is best for you my dear. I have never found proper Yule songs before, so I will patiently wait for the end of Nano to hear some :-D
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Re: re: holiday

Post by Kitsune » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:11 pm

If you simply can't wait, here is a podcast with quite a few of the songs I now have and know about.

http://paganpodcastindex.wordpress.com/ ... e-special/

Decent Podcast, lots of music... actually I quite liked it. Unfortunately, she stopped podcasting this one and started a new one called Spiritscast... I'm still haven't heard enough to know if I like it yet. She also doesn't update often, which frustrates me...
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

http://www.bamatthews.comThe Writings and Musings of B.A. Matthews

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