Sunday, 28 November 2010
What does Christmas mean to this witch?
Christmas to me is made up of wonderful memories from my childhood. Christmas at home with my family, joined by more family. Christmas morning – 6 children, 4 adults and a couple of dogs. Chaos with presents, stockings and wrapping. Lots and lots of lovely good, lots of laughter and fun.
Do I still celebrate Christmas? Well, yes. I have young children who love the build up (OK so do I!). Writing letters to Santa and putting them in the fireplace. A visit to Santa via a tractor ride and a trail through the woods. Hanging up the stockings on Christmas Eve. Leaving out mince pies and a can of coke (Santa is tee total in our house) for Santa, and more recently at my daughter’s insistence a mince pie and glass of milk for Mrs Santa. The children bounding into our room on Christmas morning and opening their stockings. Spending Christmas Day with my parents and my brother. I would not exchange that for anything.
But, we do also celebrate the Winter Solstice. I am the only witch in my family, although both my children are listed as pagan on their school records, I believe they are too young to decide their religion yet. So at Yule we have a special dinner and each open a present. I also read them the Holly King and Oak King story.
Both my children’s schools have prayers in assembly and my youngest school also still has a nativity play at Christmas. I am happy for this, as they also cover other religions within their school curriculum. So they are both open to other religions and cultures. And at the end of the day we live in a Christian country, well it used to be, although we do seem to be veering more towards being a politically correct country now!
My children know I am a witch, and they have both attended Beltane and Winter Solstice celebrations with me. When they ask me questions I answer them, when they show an interest I encourage them.
Do I send Christmas cards? Yes. When I first started on this path I made a point of only buying and sending pagan/Winter Solstice cards. Over the years this changed, becoming interspersed with usual Christmas cards that stated ‘Seasons Greetings’ rather than the word ‘Christmas’. Now I buy a selection - some pagan, some Seasons Greetings and some wishing Merry Christmas – because after all, the bulk of my cards go to people that are not pagan, that celebrate Christmas. So I am wishing them a Merry Christmas because that is what they celebrate.
I celebrate in my own way, I celebrate the Winter Solstice because that is my belief. I involve my husband and children in my Yule celebrations because they are happy to share my celebration with me. We then all celebrate Christmas with the rest of our family.
So to me celebrating Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. Eating, laughing and celebrating time together.
I celebrate the festive season as a whole. I love the cold, chilly winter weather. I love shopping for presents. I love wrapping presents and writing cards. I love all the decorations, we will be one of the first houses in our street to put them up, but we also take ours down very soon after Boxing Day. I love all the festive planning, preparing, cooking and eating of food. I love that we all make an effort to spend time with friends and families.
Enjoy, celebrate life, celebrate friends, celebrate family. Rejoice in the festive season.