Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why there is no holiday content here....

**Note** I split this off from last night's entry. The previous entry was too long. If you have the time, please take a look at the shortened version though. Thanks. :) ~C.


Some may have noticed that there is no holiday content here. I'm going to write about why that is, why I made the decision to not "go along with the program" and write stuff about it because others might want to read it.

I can not be authentic and write about something I truly don't like ~ and pretend I do. Around this time every year, I do everything possible to escape from the saturation, from the absolute onslaught of holiday sentimentality. Most of the time, I can achieve a level of indifference that keeps me sane.

Christmas has never been a good season for me. It has never been the Norman Rockwell, all hail, well met, season of good will. Instead, it was usually a painful reminder of my alienation. I am not charismatic. I am not the sort of person who is on other people's Christmas card list. I've never been the type who was included in gatherings. As I've said before, it is not a result of being disliked or anything like that. It is simply the way my life has developed. If it had suddenly changed, I wouldn't have known to deal with it anyway. I'm not good at that stuff. My job is to reach acceptance and to handle it with grace and grit.

Believe it or not, I've come to that point of acceptance. My gut no longer crunches up in pain because I might alone one more year, although it certainly used to be that way ~ back in the day when I didn't have the knowledge or experience to realize that my misfit-ism wasn't my "fault". I just landed in the wrong place. This is karma, I believe. It is a lesson to be learned. I am not bitter, nor even particularly upset about it. Certainly not any more. Nor am I fishing. The last thing that interests me is sympathy. I'm okay. However, I draw the line at having it crammed down my throat or having anyone (including me) level expectations that I can not or will not meet.

Still, this is not a particularly good time for me, either. And I won't pretend it is. There's a lot of unhealed pain from the past. It's just no longer paralyzing ~ and I don't choose to be reminded of it. I would offer my queendom for a one-way ticket to Khon Kaen, Thailand but it's not time yet. So if I seem a bit absent ~ or you notice that I am not leaving comments on holiday-related posts ~ please forgive me for being a bit self-protective right now. Everything will be back to normal in ten days or so.

Enough said.

Peace all ~ :)



Bob said...

I am not a christian. I was raised as one, so I recognize the significance of the season. I don't celebrate the birth of Christ, but I do go along with the rest of the hoohaa if only because people are trying hard to be nice to one another and it is a pleasant change from the rest of the year. I cannot sympathize with your situation, but I can empathize with having unresolved issues from the past intruding into the present. And as much as I don't know you I am sorry that you are having a difficult time. From what I read here I intuit you are a gentle soul as I am somewhat one myself I wish for you ease in your troubles and if not a happy Christmas an enjoyable December.

jen said...

i totally understand. i struggle with mustering up emotions about the holiday season - i can at times, not so much at others. i do appreciate the goodwill, but i wish it was a pervasive attitude all year long - and for some i know it is.

i appreciate what you write every single day, holiday content or not.

Chani said...

Bob, I had to answer you right away. :) Thank you for your concern. Truly. And I want to assure you that I am okay For the most part, I have resolved all of that old crap ~ but it doesn't mean I want to be reminded, if you get the distinction. I'm not in any kind of pain right now. Being free of the relentless onslaught is really sufficient. The day before Christmas, a friend and I will be serving at the "soup kitchen". That satisfies me.. but even there, I can not pretend I believe something I don't believe ~ or feel something I don't feel. I'm a purist about honesty ~ sometimes too much so. Thank you for your note.. and please be assured that I am totally okay.


:) Chani

Thailand Gal said...

Jen, thank you. Despite the differences between us, age, history and such, you "get it". For that, I am very grateful! :)



Bob said...

I am glad that you are OK. I know that things delt with can still hurt.

I live smack dab in middle of the bible belt. I occasionally have a difficult time being forthright about my (lack of) religious affiliation because it is expected of "decent" folk. I won't lie about it, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. Most people around here will not accept that there is any other basis for moral values than the judeo-christian one. (Don't get me started about separation of church and state!)

Giving should be accepted for the act itself, not as an expression of someone's faith-based beliefs. I hope your volunteering at the soup kitchen isn't overly entangled with christian piety and that you can enjoy the simple act of helping others.

Thailand Gal said...

Bob, I agree with you about there being many moral paths. The point is, for me, that Christianity has become a political movement. It has become about much more than the words of Jesus. Jesus said many important things. Of course, most organized religions have done that. I've said before, and believe still, that organized religion is used to bolster the culture that surrounds it, not the other way around.

The soup kitchen is secular. We will definitely be able to enjoy the giving and the companionship of those who come for a meal without any false piety.

There are many things I simply don't say, too. We are not going to change the minds of others by ranting at them ~ or trying to make them think differently. It seems to be experience that does that. In my opinion, you're taking the right approach, particularly given your environment.




meno said...

Ignoring Christmas is a-ok by me. I am not a christian either, and so i don't feel any need to pretend to be any more loving and giving than i am at any other time of the year.
I do look around at the utter insanity going on about me with a jaundiced eye. Most of it really is revolting.

Anvilcloud said...

Just continue be who you are and post whatever you want to post.

KC said...

Chani, well I'm glad I posted about butt etiquette since my blog is dripping in holiday sweat.

I understand though. I think I may have stopped sweating.

Bob said...

I wouldn't want to paint all of Christianity with that brush. Rather I would say that organized religion has a political component to it. It's just that since this country is predominantly Christian that it would seem that is a problem with Christianity. Islam is arguably the largest religion in the world and is by definition political as it governs all aspects of life, personal(religious) and public (political). Imams are looked to for political leadership.
I believe that Judaism is similar in that Rabbi's administer Talmudic law, the predominate law of "the land" until the recent rise of the western democratic ideals of the separation of church and state. I can't speak to Buddhism or Hindusim or any other of the world's major religions. I have met many Christians (preachers and lay-people) that respect the differing faith of others.

But I do agree with you that the primary function of a bureaucracy is to perpetuate itself - religious or other.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have always wondered how anti-semites equate their prejudices with the fact that they worship a Jew and revere his mother.

It's similar to when I first noticed as a small child that white people didn't treat black people very well, yet when a white person returned from a Florida vacation, the highest compliment that could be paid was that he/she looked like a negro (as black people were then called.)

I am getting old. I have friends who used to be negroes, then became African-Americans, and who are now Black (I think.) Our society is very weird.

And Christmas has become such a bizarre mass exercise in consumerism that any spiritual meaning it ever had has long evaporated. I always accept excuses to give my loved ones gifts, but it's merely convenient. We exchange a lot of things that are just for laughs, and enjoy each other's company.

QT said...

Chani - While I don't share your feelings entirely (Christmas is one of my favorite holidays -mostly for the family closeness), I do find it funny that many of the symbols of Christmas are pagan symbols and have nothing to do with Christianity (save the nativity scenes).

My friend Sandy is an atheist and she celebrated the winter solstice and pagan holidays. The Christmas tree is a symbol of strength and living in the cold (and dark) when most other plant matter is dead. Yule is a celebration of rebirth and growth -but from a different standpoint.

So she celebrated life, and the return of longer days, and when someone said Merry Christmas to her she would say Happy Yule!

I read the other post and I am so glad you have found a like-minded community close by to share some "Thai spirit" with.