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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Dear People Wound Up About Halloween:

You’ve made your outrage about celebrating the “Devil’s holiday” quite clear. Fine. I hear you.

It’s true that many scholars believe that Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain — the end of harvest season and the time for pagans to stock up for the winter. The Gaels believed Oct. 31 offered a window between the living and the dead, and they wore costumes to attempt to mimic or appease evil spirits.

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Other scholars disagree and state that it originated independently of Samhain.

Regardless of that controversy, let me ask you this: Do you get similarly up in arms about Santa Claus? You should. He is a modern interpretation of the pagan belief that spirits traveled the sky in midwinter.

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Do you always have a Christmas tree? Well, that’s based on a pagan tradition of bringing in greenery in winter.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? The origins of that holiday are not happy, happy, joy, joy — Pilgrims and Indians loving each other. Don’t forget that white folks killed the natives and took over their land and crops. In fact, in 1643, Gov. Williem Kieft launched a surprise attack on the Native Americans living on Manhattan Island. This joyful little event ended with people kicking severed heads through the streets. Lovely!

4269105692_2d20bdb940My point? You are a hypocrite. Many of our holidays have not-so-sacred beginnings.
My recommendation? Get a life! Relax and just enjoy our modern celebrations for what they are: a chance to do something different and have fun with your family!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find my kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

Happy Halloween!
Beth

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Bemoaning “be mine”

hith-valentine

Dear St. Valentine:

I understand we have you to thank for the most dreadful of all holidays. I know you didn’t mean for this to happen. You were just hanging out, performing illegal Christian marriages, curing the random blind girl, etc. Then Claudius II got his panties in a wad and killed you in 269 AD. Of course he didn’t do it himself; he had someone else carry out the three-part killing of beating, stoning and decapitation. That must have been loads of fun.

But before you died, you had to go and write that note to the formerly blind daughter of your jailer, signing it “from your Valentine.” Way to go. Now it’s a “thing.”

Yes, I know that Chaucer had a hand in creating this holiday too. Apparently, no one celebrated this day until he wrote “Parliament of Foules” around 1375. He manages to link love with St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention.

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate

So why am I so grumpy? I just think it is over-commercialized crap. It is a holiday that makes so many people feel awful. Unhappily single people hate it because it is a reminder of their relationship status. Many married couples hate it because it puts pressure on each person to get the “right” gift or make the “best” plans.

It’s a waste of money.

If you love someone, shouldn’t you show it every day of the year and not one Hallmark-dictated day?

Yes, I’m a Valentine’s Day Scrooge. (I do like those yummy conversation hearts, though.)

Sorry, V. It’s not you. It’s me.

Anyway, I hope you can rest in peace with all those people looking at your skull every day.

XOXO,
Beth

St. Valentine

St. Valentine hangs around in his glass box in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome (image courtesy of Rebecca Weldon)

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