Do you hear what I hear? Carolers moaning on the lawn like zombies, demanding figgy pudding and your unmitigated recognition of their holiday? Why aren’t you out singing, shopping, worshiping? What’s wrong with you? Doesn’t everyone celebrate?
Some of us are of a different religious persuasion with our own spiritually significant holidays. Others live a lifestyle that some deities, and especially their followers, would deem an abomination. Perhaps we’ve learned from Xmas mistakes past to eschew the vicious cycle of high credit balances and overtime. Or—sorry, Santa—the holidays just ain’t our bag.
That’s fair, right? To exercise our free agency and celebrate (or not) as we see fit? To define ourselves by our own terms? Depends.
Christians tout the “Reason for the Season,” like we all forget peace and love, but they’re just as guilty of commercializing the holidays and diluting their message. You don’t see good Christian boys Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly with hairnets and ladles at the soup kitchen, yet they bray that “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas” equals all-out war. They know when you’ve been sleeping, when you’re awake, and when you’ve got your assault rifle trained on everything that’s good and decent and congruent with their worldview. So be good (fall in line) for goodness’ sake (watch your fascist ass).
Fact is, Christmas isn’t what it’s supposed to be. We do forget peace and love—or equate it with flat-screen TVs and Nintendo DSis. Consequently, some of us feel disenfranchised from a holiday meant to engender the opposite. Christmas, of all days, is the worst time to feel left out.
City Weekly asked local representatives of non-Christian faiths how they celebrate the holidays. Most embrace at least some aspect of the holiday. Even heathens—the nonreligious, the hedonists—have a way to make it through the holidays, whether it’s by drinking, getting goth-ed up, cranking loud blasphemous music, escaping civilization or just working. Few actually do feel left out, but those who do cope, as well. Almost everyone celebrates in their own way, and for those of you who don’t know what to do with yourselves, we’re here with suggestions.