ok, so i didn’t know the origins of christmas either so i did a lil research. i was raised catholic so i always thought it was happy birthday jesus but mostly it was red and green, large fake pine tree in the living room, spend the same on all the kids, santa claus, seven fishes on christmas eve (an “italian” tradition that i learned is not actually italian) a couple years ago before driving home to Philly, i started my favorite tradition so far: sat on a bean bag, solo, in my living room with a TV fireplace on and listened to the dean martin christmas album 14 times in a row.
I am gonna copy and paste this info on the origins of christmas i found on Wear Your Voice Magazine:
Saturnalia was a lawless, drunken time in Rome where anything was okay — this was the original Purge, in which laws were suspended for a brief stretch of time.
Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, liberation and time (and parties!), was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, It was a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. (read: gender-bending sex, drinking, telling people off, trading gifts and doing whatever you want).
After solstice, the darkest night of the year, the renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25.
I mean assuming that people treated the freedom in a positive, expressive way, that sounds pretty cool. We have a weird way of carrying on that tradition (and i’m about to generalize) – stressing about what to get people (or even trampling them to death at a Walmart to save a few bucks), having small talk conversations and/or sitting on the couch looking at our phone amongst the company of family we have not seen in a while/could potentially not exist soon, eating until sick, laying around the new year and then say something like “wow time is going so fast”.
Time does go fast when we are taking it for granted. I wanna learn how to take slow sips cus otherwise it seems like life is a conveyor belt where we can’t ever catch up to where we are.
TRADITION. What’s cool about being a young person is that we can take what we like from our family tradition and make it our own. Personally, I love my family tradition, an annual return to childhood and i like the colors and the music and the togetherness. It’s simple. It’s what i’m used to. But, as the years have gone on my priorities have shifted. I used to sneak around my parents closet to see what they got me and it was all about the receive but now i’m genuinely asking for nothing and am trying to make up for lost time where i took being together for granted. Now, i say stuff in my head like “i wish i could be here more than i am”.
I don’t know where i’m going with this but i thought learning where it all started could make way for a new way to make this holiday stuff get back to the point. Tradition doesn’t seem to be a good reason to do something anymore.
happy holidayzzzzzzzz to all. if you are with family and like them try and appreciate and be present this time, if you are with family and they are psychotic try and find the humor in it and still embrace them for who they are without having to be it yourself, if you are without your family but your family exists make the most out of where you are and who you are with, if you don’t have a family fuck it make your own, there’s family all around, even if it’s a stranger or a tree, i’ll be in your family for the day, hit me up.
please share some of your inspiring holiday traditions or your struggles below in the comments.