The Tree

I'm spoiled. I didn't even get dirty.Getting a tree is always a bit complex for me.  I’m still not entirely comfortable with the intersections between religious familiarities and my non-religious beliefs.  As with politics I spent most of my 20’s being pretty adamant about being not religious.  As I’m mellowing I like the familiarity and tradition of some of the things I grew up with and that have been largely co-opted by American society and in to our general culture.  I’m pretty big on symbolism so I have a hard time letting go the true symbol many of these things are intended to represent.  I can go through all kinds of efforts to justify the tree saying that the christians co-opted it from pagan worship, etc, etc and that eases my mind a little, but it’s a lot of effort and I feel like I’m being defensive and just telling myself what I want to hear.  I also form a lot of things based on “when I have kids…”  As a parent do I want to take away some of the joys of childhood just to soothe my own beliefs?  I’ve been dabbling more and more in just enjoying these things and trying to shrug off the guilt that I’m being hypocritical.  Just because I don’t believe in god doesn’t mean I must punish myself with eschewing the holidays.  Getting a tree makes me happy.  I love the smell of a fresh tree.  I have fond memories of cutting down a tree with my mother and sister.  I just love the green-ness of it.  I love the twinkling lights.  I get great joy from buying gifts for loved ones and wrapping them up in to beautiful objects.  It is a time sent aside for family and thankfulness.  It does not, however, change my beliefs.  Maybe if I keep telling myself that I’ll come to a balance where I can find peace at some point 🙂

We need more special ornaments


2 Responses

  1. Mary
    Mary 7 January, 2013 at 9:14 pm | | Reply

    We celebrate a secular Christmas (or Santa Christmas, if you will), so we took traditions from both sides of the family, and created some of our own. I have taught the girls the religious reason for the season, as I feel that even though we are not religious and only believe in being good people, it is important for them to know about religions of all sorts, so that they are well educated and can make a knowledgeable decision regarding their own beliefs when they are at that point in their lives. They also go to Brad’s to light the menorah for Chanukah. I’m glad you had a great holiday season 🙂

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