July 2018
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winter holidays - thanksgiving, christmas, Solstice, new years


icon: "vivacious (my face, tilted 3/4ths, with a playful smile. you can just barely tell that I'm hugging myself)"

I was intrigued by the fact that when I asked y'all about winter holidays, you mentioned thanksgiving. (many thanks for the answers, btw!) I hadn't thought of it as a winter holiday, but I suppose it is. I loathe thanksgiving; I didn't like it as a child because it meant eating food I didn't really like (the only thing I ever liked was the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie) and doing a shitton of dishes, all for no particular reason, followed by people doing frenzied shopping. I didn't know then that it was based on a whitewashing racist lie, and when I found out the extent to which it was a lie I hated it more. It's fucking awful and shouldn't exist. But I go to Topaz's family gather because I want to show the family that I care about them and my presence at this food sharing day is a way that they can understand that.

I used to love christmas, but even though I was very christian as a child, I didn't associate it with Jesus (and I never believed in Santa as my parents didn't want to teach me a lie, and I never approved of any white american childhood myths except the tooth fairy). What I love is the fairy lights and giving spirit -- it is a capitalist holiday to be sure, but it is also a time when people do try harder than other times to be kind to each other, if they are given to kindness to begin with. I find light and color to be magical and seeing many people participate in sharing colorful light with each other is enchanting to me. I am glad that christmas exists because of this.

Christmas was important to me until I realized what Solstice was, and then all of my feeling for christmas transferred over to Solstice. The day the light begins to return -- there is really nothing more magical to me. Not only do I have SAD which is set off by dark days and cold, but I also worship light as the most tangible form of magic. I celebrate with lights, a decorated tree (living in a pot), presents, and connection with people I love. I love love love that so many of my favorite people have spent the past few solstices with me. I like that there is a nearby holiday that is NOT on my holiday because that means I don't have to work around people's familial obligations, but I still get to revel in all the reflected excitement from others at the same time.

In 2011 Kylei and I hosted Solstice, and it was amazing and cozy and magical and Adi made eggnog and there was a giant cuddle puddle. In 2012 Kylei and I hosted again and it was wonderful and there were fairy lights EVERYWHERE. Last year was my favorite so far -- I hosted and made a gigantic pot of spaghetti sauce (one of my 3 dishes that I am super good at making) and fed EVERYONE and people spent the night and had breakfast in the morning and it had the biggest cuddle puddle ever and a long game of truth-or-truth and I had such excellent presents for people. This year I think it will be even better, because I am closer to many of the people who are coming and they are closer to each other. Also, I won't have any newbies to babysit -- I liked that Aurilion came last year but it split my focus because I was so worried about them having no one but me that they knew, and also worried because they were not someone I could trust to know to ask people before touching, or value a different opinion as equal to their own. I didn't even realize this was a thing until the celebration had begun, which makes me realize how fucking lucky I am in my friendships: that's something I usually don't have to worry about. My house agreements are something I usually share with everyone before they come over but it just didn't occur to me that I might need to go over them with someone I already felt close to. Also I feel happy that Topaz will be able to more fully participate since it's at their house and they won't have to deal with terrible allergies or be sober due to a future drive.

Giving gifts is very important to me. I want to get people things that will have personal meaning to them, that will show them I know them and value who they are. My ideal gift for someone is something that is meaningful to them AND me, that is tailored to them yet something I would also enjoy owning (this is hard to find!). There is a little bit of sacrifice in my best gifts. I like receiving gifts but I like giving them more. If I could give each person something that would make them feel known and loved, I would be happy getting no gifts (as long as people assured me that it wasn't because they didn't care, because being left out stinks). It used to be that if I couldn't find you the perfect gift, you got nothing -- now I tend to try to find some consumable that the person will like, because I like that better.

I don't care much about New Years for myself, but it is very important to Kylei and Abby and thus has significance by proxy -- I like to celebrate with Kylei and Abby in whatever way feels best for them.

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Comments
z8z8 ══╣╠══
Your analysis of what Thanksgiving is all about literally made me laugh
I'm 100% for Native American rights and benefits just for the record
ravensong ══╣╠══
I adored Christmas as a kid, but once I learned about the Winter Solstice (which, to me, is interchangeable with Yule) I hated Christmas. Chritmas is just capitalistmas day to me now. It's all about buying, and getting each other a million presents. Which, giving is good don't get me wrong. But I think it feeds the greed--everyone just wants more, more, more. Stores have realized this and started coaxing people in on Thanksgiving and started setting up Chritmas shit before Halloween! That's going a bit far if you ask me.

So I celebrate Yule--the tipping point where days get longer and warm weather comes sooner. I hate cold weather--can't stand it, and light is very important to me as well (I too am affected by SAD), so having a day to celebrate it's return? Brilliant!

As for Thanksgiving...I like it. Because it means a time to get together with loved ones and share a great feast, for no other reason than you want to and you're thankful they're in your life. There isn't a religious significance to the holiday (though there is a racist one, which I do have issue with). But it's a time to spend time with those you love. And that's why I like Thanksgiving. (Not saying you're wrong for not liking it or anything. Just sharing my POV :) )
raidingparty ══╣╠══
I hadn't thought about Thanksgiving as a winter holiday until I saw others doing it, and decided it was kind of justified. We don't talk about the pilgrims or First Nations at all.

Time is the big thing. Especially if gifted.
Frodo - Sting
kehlen ══╣Frodo - Sting╠══
I a similar idea about gifts, though they do not necessarily need to be something I would want for myself. But they absolutely should be something useful or wanted by the other person and at the same time something I do not mind buying and holding in my hands.

I do not like the idea of specific dates for gift-giving though, when you feel obligated to find something. I much prefer giving gifts as I find things that are 'it' for someone. I would sometimes hold onto them until a birthday, but the feeling of obligation superimposed with dearth of ideas on fixed dates that sours them.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.