Even though I was raised Jehovah's Witness and am now a declared Agnostic, I still have enjoyed Christmas. I think they meet a basic human need, hope for the new year and disctraction from the drabness of winter.
When my sister and I were kids, the parents sat us down and explained the pagan origins of The Holidays and why JW's didn't celebrate along with the rest of the world. I was pretty cool with it, actually. In third or fourth grade, I was asked to give a short speech about "my beliefs" and I did so happily. But by the time I was in junior high and I had started questioning the things my parents told me, I found the matter a bit embarrassing.
I went my own way around 18 or 19. I didn't feel I had a personal relationship with god. I wasn't convinced that any "religion" had figured out the right path to god AND I wasn't sure that god was necessary for me to be a decent and moral person. But still, Christmas remained.
In my twenties, I made half-assed attempts to celebrate it with friends, since most of my local family are Witnesses, but it felt forced and stupid. And since I wasn't family, I couldn't expect much, even when I went all out with presents. So I dropped it, instead deriving pleasure from the sounds, sights, hustle and bustle of the season. I'd join friends for shopping trips or just wander around downtown, taking it all in. Vicarious-like. That was enough.
But this year seems a little empty. It's like people are going through the motions, meeting obligations and generally not feeling it. Reading the news today is just as depressing as it is on any other, with the ideas of Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards All Men, etc. ringing hollow. I'd be depressed if I didn't feel there were things to look forward to!
However, I am eager to see what 2004 brings...hopefully change of a good, soul-cleansing, head-sorting sort. Maybe we'll get a new and better government. Maybe I'll meet the girl of my dreams or take a nice long road trip on my bike.
I'd like to say thanks to Tab and Maria for stopping by and convincing me to hang out with them yesterday. I was enjoying the quiet, but I haven't seen youse broads in ages and it was all good. Sorry to Ji-Huyn for missing dinner. I somehow got it in my head that it was today! Now I've got more ice-cream than I could ever hope to eat...but that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try!