Christmas tizzy. That's where I am now, or actually, what I am coming off of. It has been a crazy week of tying up loose ends in anticipation of The Biggest Holiday of the Year!
We celebrate a secular holiday, as I think I have mentioned in the past. Wayne is Atheist, but I am too wimpy to declare myself as such. I prefer the wishy-washy label of Agnostic.
I was raised Catholic; well, for my first 13 or so years. Maybe a little longer than that. As an adult, I have struggled with the whole "raised Catholic" thing and the Agnostic thing. I love the ritual of the Catholic church; I love the idea of a virgin who carries the son of God, births him in a manger (unassisted "home" birth) and so on.
Mary is my favorite Christian hero. She's like a biblical Wonder Woman of sorts. I love that I can go into a Catholic church and see beautiful images of Mary and the infant Jesus that just make me want to cry. Even if I don't believe that Jesus truly was the son of God (whomever "he" may be), conceived via immaculate conception, the story makes me cry. I get all choked up when I hear the Christ-y Christmas songs. I mean, how can one not-- believer or not?
Wayne asked me the other day if I was going to go to church on Christmas eve. I got a wild hair a few times and dragged the family to services on Christmas eve in the past. I don't feel that need this year, but I have to admit, that I miss the beauty of mass at Christmas. Protestants just don't know what they are missing. The Catholics have the mass thing down perfectly.
Anyway, I participated in a Secret Snowflake exchange with a step-parents group that I've been a part of for years now; my SS gave me the CD "Letting Go of God" by Julia Sweeney. It is wonderful, so far. She was raised Catholic (far more Catholic than I ever was) and was a practicing Catholic well into her adult years. This CD is a 2 hour monologue that details (in a rather humorous way) her transition from Catholic to Atheist. It is so interesting, and so much of what she talks about, I am like, "YES! That is exactly how I feel/think!"
It was a perfect Christmas gift for me.
She talks about the culture of Catholicism, which is what I tend to miss. She says that culturally, she is Catholic. But what exactly is it to be culturally Catholic? I feel the same way, but I'm not quite sure what that means.
This is the first year that I did not buy any Christmas cards with Mary and Jesus. Usually I get a set of secular cards and a set of religious cards; Wayne makes fun of me for it, but I feel like this is a day to honor Mary, if no one else. That poor girl! That poor woman! She suffered much. This year, my cards honored snowy trees and snowmen. Very secular all a round, which made Wayne happy. I think I am falling farther away from faith in God, which makes me sad a little, but I feel secure about it. It's a feeling of sadness in the same way that I feel about the day that Maya will stop believing in Santa Claus.
Julia Sweeney has a blog that is interesting.
As part of our holiday tradition, my mom came over yesterday to bake cookies with me. We made a bazillion cookies, and I was exhausted when we were done. I have one more batch to cook up today: cut-outs that I am doing with Maya, who is at a friend's house now.
Tomorrow our big celebration begins...after the football game.
Wayne and my brother just hooked up one of our Christmas gifts: a 42" LCD TV, which is now hanging on our bedroom wall. It looks suh-weet!
Happy Holidays to you all!