A little vacation

I’m off to my sister’s place for a bit of family Christmas, and happy to be off of work for a whole six days. I still have a bit of baking and wrapping to do, but most of the work of getting ready for Christmas is done, and I can enjoy the holiday.

In the middle of all the PC stuff about “Happy Holidays” and not offering any seasonal wish that might possibly be construed as offensive or exclusionary, I have two things to say. One is that David sent me a picture of a bare evergreen, with a sign posted beside it that said “Generic nondenominational evergreen of voluntary winter revelry” or some such. He wrote on the subject line, “I wanted to be festive, but I didn’t want to offend anybody”.

The other is that, in the midst of all this religious angst, why has nobody suggested wishing everyone a happy solstice? Solstice isn’t just for pagans, you know! No, the sun shines for a shorter and shorter time on everybody, right up until that moment when it starts shining a little longer each day. Then it shines a bit longer every day on everybody. In the northern hemisphere this happens in December; in the southern hemisphere it happens in June. But whatever your hemisphere, everyone gets two solstices every year. And here’s the great thing; Solstice is an event everyone can believe in, even atheists! Yes, with empirical evidence that the days lengthen (or shorten), there is no need to rely on faith alone, or to feel that one is being hypocritical because one doesn’t actually beleive in Jesus, Baldur, Mithras or whoever, and is, perhaps, only in it for the presents and the turkey dinner. Everybody wins!

Speaking of turkey dinner, Carla informed me a week or so ago that she had told my two nephews that they could make place cards and name tags with me for the dinner table. “I hope you don’t mind,” she said when she informed me of this fait accompli. Nope. I like to do art, and so do William and Cian. I’ll bring a bunch of fun stuff and we’ll have a happy afternoon playing with paper. Does it get better? Yes, there’s a turkey dinner at the end of it!

I will return on or about the 26th. I have been thinking about writing, and about the kinds of writing I do, and how to get better at them. I still have lots to say!

In the meantime, may all of you rock around the nondenominational evergreen of your choice, in voluntary winter revelry. Happy Solstice!

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