Even though my family is an uneasy mix of pagan, Christian, and agnostic, I've never had a problem being wished a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukah or Happy Ramadan or Blessed Yule or Solstice or Pancha Ganapati or Saturnalias or Imbolc or really any holiday for that matter. Whatever culture you grew up with or faith you've practiced, wishing someone joy because you are practicing an event that celebrates gratitude and the blessings we have isn't an insult or an attempt to force a faith or belief system down anybody's throat.
It's just a wish for joy. I just can't take exception to that, no matter how it's phrased or which belief system engenders it. I can see no evil in a wish for generosity and celebration, and I will take no exception to that wish for myself.
Pretty much any winter holiday is a celebration of generosity and good will and blessings received and the hope of a good year to come. I will accept this wish from anybody with an open heart.
And on that note…
Mate and I were grocery shopping today, because I made him go grocery shopping with me so we could have a quiet moment today after the madness of going car shopping on Monday.
"So," I confessed, almost tearful, "my present for you is really frickin' lame."
"Well that's awesome, cause I got you a Honda Odyssey!"
Well, after we cracked up for a semi-hysterical 10 minutes or so, I tried to impress again the lameness of my frickin' present. I'm embarrassed. I had an hour, and a bunch of stuff to get, and I didn't manage to make it down to Macy's. I had to settle for Tops.
And I let the kids talk me into a Marvel belt instead of a leather belt.
"But," I told him, "the thing is, I wanted to get you SO MUCH STUFF, and all of it is like too expensive, or stuff you need to get for you."
"Like an I-Phone 6, or a brand new pair of running shoes--"
"From where? You could get me a gift certificate."
"Remember last year, when I got you a gift certificate from the wrong place?"
"And the year before from the other wrong place."
"Yeah. I get all my running shoes from Fleet Feet now."
"I did not know that. SEE!"
"Well, what else?"
"Plane tickets for the whole family to see your dad in February."
"Yeah, that would be nice. We can't do that."
"Well, I'd give you the new car, for one, since yours is falling apart too."
"That would be nice. We could give the old one to Chicken."
"Yeah. That would be nice. But oh! The other thing!"
"One of those $200 Letterman jackets for the Sacramento Kings."
"Yeah. I actually thought of getting you one of those. If the car hadn't blown up, it was on my list of maybes."
"That would have been nice."
"Well, I'll have to settle for lame."
"Love you too."
So, given that, here's my wish for you.
Happy holidays--whichever holiday you celebrate.
May you make it through the worst times with your humor and your faith intact.
May you enjoy the best times without a shadow over your head.
May your loved ones give you joy, even when they're being a pain in the ass.
May your fur-babies live long, healthy, lives full of scratches behind the ears and with a minimum of fleas.
May at you have at least one person in your family at any given time who gets your jokes.
May your favorite holiday special never go off the air.
May your appliances die off one at a time and not all at once.
May you manage to give gifts that give joy.
May the gifts you receive show thought if not taste.
May your mishaps be survivable, and your catastrophes make you strong.
May all your surprises be as pleasant as a puppy in a stocking.
Thank you everyone who's read and commented-- either here, in Twitter, FB, or GR-- for letting me and mine be a part of your lives. May our holidays-- any holidays--be joyful. May we have love in our hearts all year.