For someone who claims to be an athiest, my husband spends a lot of time arguing with me about whether or not there should be a seperation of church and state. He says it's nothing to do with God, it's tradition, blah blah blah. (*facepalm*) This is the same reason he gives for celebrating the Christian holidays even though he claims not to believe in God himself and is married to a Wiccan.
(If I could do that one eyebrow raised look of disbelief, I would be doing it now.)
It's fine because you know we witches are pretty damned adaptable. You and your family want to celebrate Christmas? Just fine by me... I'll have a nice quiet Winter Solstice celebration AND open pressies on Christmas morning. Who am I to argue with your traditions? O:)
That pretty much sums up my feelings on being a non-Christian at Christmas time. (I'm not even going to get into all the ways that Christmas is un-Christian.) I don't need to make a fuss to be true to my beliefs.
(Also... If there's one thing that history has taught us, it's that the nail that sticks out gets hammered - or burned at the stake, as the case may be.)
Kind of a long, ranty intro for what was meant to be my holiday post, huh?
The Vanian family holidays!
We would never do anything the "normal" way so instead of a Christmas tree, we have a Nightmare Before Christmas Tree!
An angel at the top of the tree? Over my dead body!
When my mother-in-law was alive, she and I had EPIC arguments over that little vampire. She would rage that "You can't put a vampire on top of a Christmas tree!" and I would answer with "I can't put one on top of a fucking Yule tree, though!"
One year, she took our vampire down every morning and, every night, we would find it and put it back up. She's not around to fight with anymore but seeing him always makes us laugh about those old fights.
There are a few other distinctly Vanian touches to the tree... Like MooMaMoo and Arkwright hiding in it!
It looked like we were set to have a pretty sorry holiday season, regardless of what we called it. The debt management plan we're on probably saved our lives but the budget is so strict that it doesn't leave much room for extras like pressies. :(
But a very good friend came to our aid and helped us to not only get through the holidays, but replace our fridge/freezer - which naturally packed it in right before the festive season.
The delivery of the fridge/freezer was a bit of a fiasco. We ordered it from Tesco Direct and I spoke the people delivering it in advance, warning them of the obstacles they would face. The woman said, "Okay, no problem."
When the guy came to deliver it, he asked me where I wanted it. I told him to just put it in the dining room and I would take it from there. He looked in the house, looked at me and said, "I don't think so, love." Then he dropped it in the porch and left.
So ALONE I had to drag the new fridge in and the old fridge out. Screwed my back up for A WEEK afterward. That "every little helps" bullshit? Bullshit. I will never have anything delivered from Tesco Direct again.
But I am in LOVE with my new fridge/freezer.
Every fridge I've ever had belonged to someone else first. This is the first fridge I can call "mine" (even though when we move it will stay with the house.)
That would have been enough to make my holidays but, of course, there were pressies yet to come!
Looking at my Facebook feed on Christmas morning, I was ashamed to see so many pictures of whole rooms filled with gifts. I mean... Come on! Worldwide recession, anyone? It's nice that you can treat the people you love but don't make the other 90% feel like shit that they can't. :(
We only had a handful of gifts each but it was more than enough for us. I have to say... Boy done good! :) I got the tarot deck I wanted (which - ahem - I would've gotten anyway... sorry, Bristol!) along with a big book on vampires, two Living Dead Dolls, an Oscar the Grouch shirt, House and Downton Abbey on dvd, and BEADS!
He bought me beads AND divided them by colour! Now that's thoughtful.
Even my in-laws did an excellent job this year. They got one of my favourite perfumes, a Yankee Candle, and Sailor Jerry. You can't go wrong there.
Not bad, considering they don't even like me.
Looking back at my holidays, I have to say that I am blessed. So many others got by with so much less.
That's not to say that our holiday passed without incident. There was the matter of having to go to the hospital to see Dulcie, Jay's nan.
You'll know from my previous posts that my husband's nan is kind of my hero. (Yes, her and Genghis Khan.) Well, she took a bad tumble the week before and ended up in the hopsital. She's in a bad way. We went to see her and were shocked by how awful she looked. Hard to believe that, the last time we saw her, she was dancing and getting drunk!
Now, she looks old and frail. Battered and bruised. And she kept talking about wanting to die. It was hard - hard enough for me, I don't know how Jay managed to keep smiling.
And today we got a call from his brother saying that she's going in for emergency surgery. She has a 50/50 shot of making it through.
Life is all about balance, right? Yin and yang... Taking the good with the bad. Well, there it is: the good and the bad of our holidays.
There's been so much happening the last couple of weeks, for so many people. As happy as our holidays were, we never lost sight of the suffering of those around us. We weren't the only family to have loved ones in the hospital... And we're thinking of you.
To all of our friends who are going through hard times, who face losing loved ones or who have already lost them... Our thoughts are with you. Wishing you love and light in the weeks to come. X