The Spirit of the Season

Winter Solstice

 As we enter the winter holiday season I am struck by the discord that seems to arise each year at this time over whom the holiday “belongs to”. It’s as if there is a conclusion that the celebrations of the season are limited to one religion only, that the celebrations are a finite commodity to be “owned” by one group or another. How silly. Just because I celebrate Yule, someone else celebrates Christmas, and another joins with family to honor Kwanzaa doesn’t mean that any of us impacts … [Read more...]

We Are All Travellers Along Life’s Tricksy Ways

sol invictus

 This season of ice and rime, of greeting cards and indoor trees--it can be the hardest of seasons in our multi-faith world. In this country, the season is dominated by the curious and often-repellent observation of Christmas. We have been celebrating it in the wider culture since October and it will not end until the last discount store has rid its shelves of marshmallows shaped like snowfolk and plastic tablecloths sporting imitation patchwork in red and white and green.In my … [Read more...]

A Multicultural Maelstrom: A.K.A. – Christmas at the Folmers’

wrapping paper

I never quite realized how extraordinarily unusual my family really was until after I moved away from home. Every single adult member of our household is of a different religion, which makes for some really interesting writing material. On a couple of occasions I've tried to describe the family dynamic, and one question I get asked fairly frequently is how we handle holidays. So how do a Heathen, a Jew, a New Age Hindu, a Mormon, a Pagan, and a young Agnostic celebrate Christmas? Oddly, it's … [Read more...]

The War on Christmas

Poinsettia_2

Several excellent authors have already covered the so-called "war on Christmas," but since the holiday season provides plenty of opportunity for interfaith interaction, I wanted to touch on this subject a little bit here at Wild Garden. I've been trying to figure out what, exactly, the "War on Christmas" is. From our house, this is a time of good cheer when we stick a tree in the living room and drink a ridiculous amount of hot cocoa. As I write this, the sun is hitting the tinsel just so and … [Read more...]

Winter Holidays, Interfaith Memories

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My childhood memories of the Winter holidays are a combination of Chanukah and Christmas.  My father's family is Jewish while my mother's is Christian, and despite the fact that my mother converted to Judaism prior to my birth, we still celebrated Christmas -- at least secular, family-based, gift-giving side of the holiday -- with her side of the family. Christmas Memories I have two pretty distinct memories of Christmas as a child.  One year, I was so excited I leaped into bed at my mother's m … [Read more...]


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