Stressful Christmas

After spending nearly an entire year fighting a leg ulcer, I really did believe that it would be healed by now. But nothing that we’ve tried has worked and now I have a very painful infection in the open wound. I’m on antibiotics that have finally helped with the pain, but not much else.

I’ve been awake all night, which is pretty normal for me, but what isn’t normal is that I can’t go to bed right now, which is also normal for me. It’s nearly 6am and I have to stay up to go to a doctor appointment in three hours. Who schedules a doctor’s appointment on Christmas Eve Day? Well, me, apparently. This is a new doctor and I’ve waited 6 weeks to get into see her and I need to refill some medications and hope that she will agree to two new ones for me.

I thought I would have energy to decorate the Christmas tree, but didn’t and don’t. All it has on it is white lights, which I guess is better than nothing.

I had hoped to have the energy to make a broccoli salad, but that idea went out the window too.

As it is I will be spending the rest of the day after seeing the doctor sleeping. And probably all day tomorrow, too.

Not a very Merry Christmas and it makes me sad.

Christmas RAK’s (Random Acts of Kindness)

Give a senior the ‘gift’ of seeing Christmas lights

Invite a niece or nephew over for tea and sympathy

Donate to Habitat for Humanity so next year someone will have a home for
Christmas

Arrange for a family conference call on Christmas Day

Anonymously mail money to someone who needs it

Adopt a senior citizen or grandparent.

Donate to the needy – money, clothes, food.

At the onset of colder weather, donate warm clothing, blankets, etc. for the homeless.

Invite a bunch of friends, family and neighbors to go Christmas Caroling
and end up back home for hot chocolate.

Take a small Christmas tree, a Christmas wreath, or grave blanket to the grave of a family member who died.

Visit a nursing home and take homemade cookies and little gifts to the residents.

Make a dedication on a local radio station to all those who smiled at strangers that day

Volunteer to answer phones for a suicide hotline

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule and Blessings of Light, Peace and Joy!

I’m hoping my holiday greeting covers all of my friends and family, all of whom follow a variety of religious beliefs. I keep seeing online and on Facebook that this time of year the only “acceptable” greeting is Merry Christmas. This attitude makes me very sad. Shouldn’t the very fact that someone is wishing you well and hoping you have a good Christmas more important than the words that are used? Shouldn’t it be the spirit of the season? Isn’t this the season of “peace and good will”?

I had a “friend” who told me that if I sent a Christmas card that said anything other than Merry Christmas, she would tear it up and destroy it. I was very hurt by that. Obviously, the words “Merry Christmas” were more important to her than my feelings and our friendship.

Christianity is not a religion for everyone around the world, and it never will be, no matter how much some people push it. Religion should always be a choice and having it forced on others takes away that choice.

Acceptance, or the very least, tolerance, for other belief systems shouldn’t not too much to ask. If other people’s beliefs are such a threat to them, they must not have very much “faith” in their own beliefs…

This time of year I get so frustrated with the messages that many Christians insist are, or should be true, for everyone…

Like “Jesus is the reason for the season”.. I tell my Christian friends.. “well, he is for you, and I’m happy that is the case for you, but it’s not true for everyone. Please respect other people’s choices, too.”

Or “Wise men still seek him”.. meaning that if you are a non-Christian you are not wise and are lost. Tolkien wrote.. “not all who wander are lost” and one thing I learned in church that I still carry with me is that all humans have a “god-given” right to free will. That means the free will to decide what is true for themselves.

I just read on person’s comment to a “discussion” that historians have determined “without a doubt” that Jesus was born on Dec 25th. Now I’m a historian and a theologist and I’ve never found any such proof of that anywhere. There is no mention of “Christmas” in the bible, none. And people who insist that there is, obviously haven’t read the bible. I have. Cover to cover more than a dozen times. I started studying Biblical history in 1980 when I was introduced to it by a Catholic priest. Because I’ve been fascinated by history of all kinds since I was nine and have researched family history since I was 15, this was a natural progression for me. I started studying comparative religion and world religions in 1998, and had planned to become an interfaith minister.

There people who are trying to put “Christ back into Christmas” because there is a war on Christmas against Christians (but only in the small minds of Fox news) so they write Christmas as CHRISTmas and insist that you only can say Merry Christmas. Anything else is a direct attack on Christians, at least in their eyes.

Christmas was “adopted” as the birthday of Jesus because no one really knows when he was born. Scholars have suggested that it could be anywhere from September to March. The bible doesn’t say and even the books that mention the Nativity contradict one another.

Christmas was originally “Christ’s Mass”, as festivals in general were considered too Pagan and against church doctrines. Christ’s Mass was in recognition for Jesus’ DEATH, not his birth. It was a celebration of the Eucharist, basically communion, and it was only celebrated by the clergy. Between the peasantry wanting to be thought of as worldly and the church wanting to get more people to convert to Christianity, Christ’s Mass was slowly offered to the congregation, but those Masses took place anywhere from September to January, depending on the Parish.

And for those who also believe that writing Christmas as “Xmas” is a direct attack on Christians and Christmas…. this is why you need to study history. This was told to me by the Catholic Priest. Most peasants were not able to read or write. But they understood that X was a letter that symbolized Christ; X is the first letter of the Greek word Christos. (The early church used the first two letters of Christos in the Greek alphabet ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ to create a monogram to represent Jesus.) When the peasants saw signs that said X-mass (Christ’s Mass), they knew they were welcome to attend this special mass.

With the new converts, former Pagans from Rome, Greece, Germania, North countries and Celtic regions, came a whole slew of established traditions which the church absorbed to keep the Pagans happy. December 25th was finally settled on as the official date of Christmas for three main reasons; Celtic Pagans celebrated Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. Roman Pagans celebrated Saturnalia around December 15th, and December 25th was the feast day, or birthday, of a Roman God named Mithra, which was popular about the same time that Christianity started to flourish.

The church decided that this would make everyone happy and they would get their converts. The Pagans didn’t care one way or another (for the most part) as long as they were not forced to give up their holiday traditions. Of course, not everyone agreed with this. The Orthodox faction of the church used this as one of many reasons to break away from the what is now the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th, which was the original date of Christmas, not December 25th.

They set a precedence that anyone who didn’t agree with established church teachings were free to go and start their own church. Well, maybe not free, but they did it anyway. Which is why, according to the site Religious Tolerance, there are over 34,000 different Christian denominations worldwide. So when you say something is “Christian” which denomination are you referring to?

When Christmas was first recognized in the 4th century, it was meant to be a time of reflection and prayer, never a fun time, and certainly not a birthday, since to early Christians and Hebrews, birthdays were a Pagan concept and didn’t fit with church doctrines. Which is why some Christian denominations do not acknowledge birthdays or Christmas even today.

Christmas as a joyous, festive holiday came later as the different traditions blended with one another and each group adopted the new ideas, including the church.

But even then and since then, not everyone saw Christmas as a “Christian” holiday. In the 1500’s, Luther and Calvin banned all ideas concerning Christmas. If it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, it was not truly Christian.

In 1659, the Puritans outlawed Christmas in the colonies and that went in and out of favor depending on who was in charge. Christmas as we know it today was not even celebrated until the mid 1700’s and then only sporadically.

In fact, Christmas was basically “illegal” in the United States until the mid 1800’s, the legality of it was largely ignored, although in some communities, people were arrested for celebrating the holiday.

Christmas did not become a legal holiday in the US until 1856. And the words “Merry Christmas” being a “Christian” idea? No, in fact using the words “Merry Christmas” was at one time considered to be a very un-Christian things to do, because it brought to mind drinking and partying and not all the “sober” kind of holiday most Christians wanted to be.

So it just shows how everything, including Christmas greetings has evolved over time. In the Victorian era, the most common greeting at Christmastime was “Seasons Greetings”.

I remember hearing once in church that Christmas had been celebrated every single year since that first Christmas when Jesus was born. History clearly shows that isn’t true. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Nativity story. I have several Nativity sets that put out each year. But I don’t believe it’s a historical event, especially since so many other cultures have similar stories. The Bible was never intended to be a history book.

In the 1500 years a lot of things changed and blended to make it what it is now.. which is essentially a secular holiday. According the Pew Report, only 54% of Americans and less than 40% worldwide celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday or in any kind of religious context. And those numbers are dropping steadily. Nothing stays static, it changes constantly.

It might surprise many Christians to know that a lot of Atheists, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus and even some Jews and Muslims celebrates Christmas too, as a secular celebration, complete with Christmas trees, gifts, lights, feasts and charity. So it’s clearly not just a religious or Christian holiday anymore and even history shows it really never was, it was just adopted as one.

Now I don’t expect you to believe me just based on what I wrote here. But I do expect that if you are going to insist that everyone abide by your way of doing things, you at least go and study the history of what you are insisting on. Most people only know about the history of their own religion from what’s on TV, on social media or what is taught in their own church.

And in my education in theology and ministry and my experience of being a member of a dozen different Christian denominations tells me that most churches only teach what they want their followers to know. In fact, one of the reason I quit theology classes was seeing fellow students laughing about why they wanted to become ministers and it had nothing to do with faith and everything to do with control. But that is a whole ‘nother rant.

So….

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Happy Christmas

Have a Cool Yule

Happy Hanukkah

Solstice Blessings

Saturnalia Luck

Happy Bodhi Day

Happy St. Nickolas Day

Happy St. Lucia Day

Happy Sol Invictis

Blessings for Dongzhi and Pancha Ganapati

Special blessings for Mother’s Night and Winter Blot (also called Winternight).

Now, that should cover just about most of the December holidays. Now you know why many people just say simply “Happy Holidays”….. And there is nothing wrong with that, or there shouldn’t be.

War on Christmas

They just don’t give up on this crap.

I am getting so sick of seeing Fox News and everyone in the Trump circle insisting that Obama and other Democrat presidents banned Christmas from the White House, because of course, we all know that all Liberal Democrats are godless people. Only some of us are.

And they “thank God for Donald Trump bringing Christmas back and making it okay to say Merry Christmas.”

It’s never been NOT okay to say Merry Christmas.

Obama didn’t ban Christmas and no, he is not a Muslim from Kenya. You can thank Donald Trump for that tidbit too.

No other president ever banned Christmas from the White House (see attached pictures).

If Christmas was banned, or even discouraged, would we being seeing 6 weeks of gift buying encouragement, non-stop Christmas music, lights draped everywhere, and every church on every corner planning elaborate Christmas programs?

If Christmas was banned, wouldn’t everyone have to work on Dec 25th?

You do notice that isn’t happening anywhere, especially in the United States.

There is no “War on Christmas”. This was a selfish attempt from Fox news to generate higher ratings. They thrive on controversy and depend on their viewers to believe everything they say. We all know that Trump does. If you believe this, you’ve been conned and gaslighted.

Christmas is as much a secular holiday as it is a religious holiday and it’s celebrated by people of many different cultures and nationalities. Christmas is NOT just an American holiday. And it’s isn’t solely a Christian holiday. Study your history!!

Anyone who believes otherwise have forgotten two important lessons from their childhood…

1. Share with others.
2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

TMI Tuesday: December 17, 2019 The Christmas Edition

1. Have you ever kissed someone under mistletoe?

Yes, and it was lovely and sweet and romantic

2. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Both, but eggnog comes out first. I love it with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream and a splash of 7up and maybe a bit of dark rum. Hot chocolate is best when it’s the best rich dark Dutch chocolate and whole fat milk, a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream, some marshmallows, whipped cream and a candy cane.

3. Colored or white lights on a Christmas tree?

I love both and sometimes I use both on the same tree… seems to give it more depth. But this year I have only a small table top tree with white lights.

4. Real or fake Christmas tree?

Due to allergies to fir and pine trees, I only use artificial trees. I have three, of different sizes. I use to have 8. Next year I plan to get a prelit tree to make things easier for myself.

5. What tops your Christmas tree?

Nothing. I can’t reach the top. At this point, I’m lucky to have ornaments on it.

6. Candy canes, yuck or yum?

Yum. Especially good raspberry flavored ones, but those are getting harder and harder to find. I did see some pickled flavored candy canes. Um… no!!

7. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

My favorite is always Creme Brulee. Second is a cake, and I especially love Costco’s big sheet cakes, white with lemon filling, but it’s a bit much for one person. Another is sugar cut out cookies with frosting.

Bonus: Are you going on holiday during the December holiday season? Where?

Nope, staying home. No money, no energy, and no desire to fight crowds, traffics and other hassles.

 

Krampus, the God of Kink?

Until recently, Krampus was pretty much ignored by most Westerners, who just vaguely were aware that he was the partner of Saint Nicholas in many places in Europe. In America, St Nick, or Santa Claus pretty much worked alone.

But lately Krampus is becoming a legend all by himself. Some good, some not so good and some down right kinky.

Conservative Christians who have suddenly become aware of Krampus, see him as a demon, comparing him to Satan or at the very least the Pagan God of Pan. They only see evil in all three.

Pagans tend to see Krampus as the other half of “good and bad” or “right or wrong” or more likely, “light and dark”.

I was aware of Krampus, after growing up hearing about the Dutch Sinterklaas from my grandfather. But he was considered a minor character in the whole Christmas deal.

As I have been reading up on various Christmas traditions and have been learning more about Krampus, I’m now seeing him a whole new light.

Krampus with his chains and his birch branches for whipping and that long red tongue hanging out, I have, without any doubts, that Krampus is the original God of Kink.

Apparently I’m not alone since Deviantsuccubus wrote an erotic story about Krumpus https://deviantsuccubus.com/2019/12/krampus-erotica/, entitled “Krampus And The Naughty Girl”… I encourage you to go and read it.

So now I am imagining what it might be like to be chained up to an old damp brick dungeon (and it’s not the first time I’ve imagined this… a few years ago I started writing a story about a Red Riding Hood type character who is chained to a dungeon by a werewolf, I must have a one track mind)…. Naked in my chains, waiting to see what awaits me, when a terrifying “half-goat, half-demon” is suddenly standing before me, the birch branches slowly swishing in the air, until one tip lightly meets my erect nipple. It is more of a shock than it is of pain, and highly arousing. How angry I feel to be betrayed by my body like this, when I should be feeling anger or fear, not feeling turned on and wishing for more…

There are gold shackles around both ankles and both wrists with matching chains between them. The ones at my feet are hooked to the wall to keep my feet spread apart and the ones at my wrists are hooked by the chain at a hook above my head. I can pull and tug at my bonds but I am virtually his prisoner and that excites me even more.

And then I see that long red tongue. My imagination is running wild wondering what he might be able to do with that… And apparently Krampus loves it when you beg. I use to have a Dom like that.

“Okay, wench, on your knees..” and I know what is coming next. Will it be as long as his tongue?

If you want to learn more about Krampus I suggest these checking out these links:

TMI Tuesday: December 10, 2019

1. Christmas music is everywhere. It has been on the radio in my area since mid-November! If you had to listen to Christmas music, from one artist, non-stop during December who would be crooning those holiday tunes? (must pick one). Why did you make that choice?
a. Harry Connick Jr.
b. Mariah Carey

I like Harry Connick Jr more as an actor than a singer, so I would pick Mariah Carey. I know.. don’t judge, but I can sing along with her songs better than I can with Harry’s.

2. In 2019, in the bedroom, were you mostly naughty or nice?

Only in my fantasies, was it naughty, which was nice. Better than nothing, which is what my reality has been all year.

3. In your next sexcapade, who will be joining you (must pick one)? Why is that your choice?
a. Mr and Mrs Santa Claus
b. Grinch
c. Frosty the snowman
d. 4 of Santa’s elves

Mr. and Mrs. Claus having a threesome with Krampus, who bring his delicious chains and his wicked birch branches for whipping.

4. Do you celebrate any holidays in December? If yes, what?

I celebrate everything, from St Nicholas Day on Dec 6th, St Lucia Day on Dec 13, Winter Solstice, Festivus on Dec 23rd and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I am an Atheist-learning Humanist Pagan who would look for any excuse to party!!

5. How will you be spreading holiday cheer in 2019?

Writing. And a bit of gift giving.

Bonus: What Netflix holiday movie do you recommend we watch?

I have no idea what is on Netflix. The only movies I watch are the ones in my personal collection.

 

Naughty Birthday

Today is my birthday… and if you think old people don’t think about sex, think again. I am now 69 and I think more about sex than I did when I was 29.

I have a yearly tradition where I post my collection of naughty Christmas memes on Facebook. I thought I would share them here too.

 

So Called War on Christmas

I don’t understand all of these problems about the “War on Christmas”.

Christmas is suppose to be a time of love and sharing. Isn’t that the message that Jesus taught? And yet, I constantly see messages from some Christians who demand that Christmas is a Christian holiday so keep your mitts off if you are not one.

I’m the same person I was when I was a Christian. Nothing about me changed except for my personal belief, which is just that… personal.

If Jesus taught to love and share, shouldn’t that pertain to the holiday that bears his name? What is wrong with sharing it with Pagans and Atheists?

No one is telling Christians they need change how they celebrate the holiday or practice their faith. Okay, there are some, but they are a minority. Has any Christian been told they can’t put up a Christmas tree or go to church on Christmas morning? Or hide their Bibles from anyone?

Most of us who believe in live and let live, no matter what our belief system is, are the majority.

Christmas is not an original holiday, it evolved over time blending traditions from many different cultures. Why is that bad?

With technology, the world will continue to get smaller and more of this will be happening. Again, why is that bad?

My feeling is that if your faith is strong in your own personal belief system, it shouldn’t matter what other people believe. But if you have a need to have everyone agree with you and believe the same thing as you do, then perhaps your faith isn’t as strong as you would like people to think.

And I know that there will people who will say the same thing back to me, that if my faith of my own personal belief system is strong, why I am objecting about what some conservative Christians demand? The difference is that I am trying to protect my own rights, to share with those who feel the way I do and let them know they are not alone. I am not demanding that anyone needs to become a Pagan or Atheist. I just don’t want Christians demanding that I have to give up who I am to become a Christian against my will. The same people who would object if I insisted they had to become a Pagan or Atheist against their will.

Christmas provides different things for different people, at a time when they need those kinds of things the most… of hope, of love, of sharing, of faith, and of peace. Why would anyone deny these things to others?

I have had friends and family members who have “disowned” me when they found out I wasn’t a Christian, and they seem to have this attitude too. I realize they just believe what they are being told to believe. I wish they would learn to think for themselves, and learn about the real history of their religion.

“Christmas is a contrived holiday. Most of it was taken by the Church to lure Pagans INTO the church.”

You’ll never be able to get some people to understand and except this. I have had people tell me that Christmas has been celebrated since that first Christmas when Jesus was born in a stable and and has been ever since then. And I’ve been a member of churches who actually teach that very same thing. But that’s not true. Christmas wasn’t even an occasion until the 4th century and not even a legal holiday in this country until the mid 1800’s.

Two things that I study tend to come together especially this time of the year… History and world religions.

Christmas traditions come from many different cultures; Celtic, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Armenian, Nordic, Germanic, Ancient European, and Mithraism. Mithras’ birthday was celebrated on Dec 25th, and this date along with the Pagan dates of Yule, Winter Solstice and Saturnalia, were all adopted in the 4th century by the church, to “encourage” non-Christians to convert. December 25th was designated as to be the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but it really isn’t his birthday and there is no mention of Christmas anywhere in the Bible. And it’s possible that the Nativity story in the Bible is just that… a story, and not a fact.

Before that, the only important feast day on the Christian calendar was Easter (also celebrated much differently then than it is now). But if you look at most Christians sites online, most of them omit all of that, and either state that Christmas is only a Christian holiday or that Christians should not celebrate Christmas because of it’s Pagan roots.

We all have roots and I’ll bet the way we live now is drastically different than they way our ancestors live. But do we disown them because they were different? Not usually.

But come Christmas time and it’s a whole different story. Including the ridiculous idea about what is printed on coffee cups.

We should celebrate our histories, especially at Christmastime.

I have English, Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, French, South American, and Scandinavian roots and I love to learn about the traditions that came from my ancestors. But I also enjoy learning about traditions of other religions including Judaism and Islam. Just because I wouldn’t practice one of these religions, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate learning about their traditions.

Why are people so threatened by the past?