Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Heathen Christmas

I'm having a great Christmas this year! Aside from some homophobic family shit, but hey, that's life right? I chalk up the happiness of this Christmas as opposed to last Christmas to a couple things, first, I'm on antidepressants and they are really helpful. Second, I'm out of the closet and in a healthy, functioning relationship. Third, and the most surprising to me, I'm not a Christian anymore.

I didn't really expect my deconversion do make Christmas more fun, but it did. The performance pressure is gone. I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that I never really believed, and always felt guilty for my spiritual indifference. Through Christmas pageants, bible readings, advent candle lightings, and ardent prayers for the true meaning of Christmas to touch my life I just wanted the fun and the presents. I felt so guilty for that. I loved being around my family, and I liked singing the carols and lighting candles on Christmas eve. I used to convince my family to go to my grandparent's Lutheran church for Christmas eve because the service was prettier. That's what I really love about Christmas, the beauty of it.

And now, as the queer heathen I really am, I get to enjoy that beauty. I can focus on being with people I love and who love me, I can focus on making delicious traditional foods and giving gifts and making the darkest days of the year merry and bright. All the guilt of not feeling "religious enough" has disappeared. And you know what, it's the best!

I get kind of upset, thinking back on the all the Christmases I felt guilty for not feeling the weight and import of the season. Why was it so important that I felt the weight of our guilt that brought baby Jesus to earth? Is it so bad to let your kids enjoy a holiday without tying the guilt strings to it? Apparently not.