Getting ready for another Gloriously "Holiday" Free Season!  At last count I think I know of about three other "Christmas" abstaining Quakers among the bunch of us.  I gave up the whole lot of these so called "holidays" years ago.  I just now today began to realize that the fuss of this whole bothersome thing was beginning to get buzzing in those of that worldly, dare I say, pagan,  way around me, and breathed a sigh of relief, that once again, I am free.  I won't spoil it for any of those Quakers who are okay with it, nor those atheists or religionists of other traditions who play at this celebration.  What I have learned to do, when people, with furrowed brow and hurried aura ask me breathlessly, "Am I ready for "Christmas"," is say, warmly, "Why, yes, yes, I am!".   And why would I celebrate a Puritan day? Apparently the Thanksgiving Puritans are not counted among those who tortured Our Founding Friends, but nevertheless.   .   . Yes, everyday ought to be a Holy Day, as the one Quaker of olden days  who once annoyed the whole of the townsfolk by declaring "Merry Christmas" to everyone he met in July.   In Jessamyn's West beautiful book, titled,  Except For Thee and Me,  Elizabeth and Jess alone felt uncomfortable, perhaps even sad at the sight of a tree drug in the house and adorned as their grown children embraced other ways.   .   So, I say today, Except for Me and  Thee?  Who would be the thee? or  is there a plural?

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Comment by Olivia on 11th mo. 13, 2014 at 10:06am

Hi friend!!   (love you, miss you!)

This is food for thought....

While I recognize that Quakers historically have a thing against separating out one day of the year over others, I have also recognized that it is -- as you say -- out of a need that we celebrate inner peace and joy and re-birth every day....   and so I have been continuing to celebrate Christmas. 

This year though I was thinking again, in prayer, "God, give me a better ability to plan this, this time, a better ability to provide for those I love, and to let them know they have been thought of, instead of the last minute scramble that doesn't satisfy".  

And YOU have given me good food for thought to really apply myself to being a Quaker and see what that does to "this time of year" and my choices about it!

peace,

Olivia

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 11th mo. 13, 2014 at 10:47am

Thanks y'all.  Olivia, no time no hear! Also, its a mah-velous time to be a grump about the whole thing if you don't like it anyhow and I got my ticket out.  My brother called my sister's marriage to a Jehovah's Witness her "Get out of Jail Free" card.  .   . .  I do not recognize or participate in any of these,  Halloween, Valentine's, New Year, Most certainly not Fourth of July, (I'm following the Quaker loyalist tradition) and not my birthday either. .   But party on Pagans!!  tee hee.

Comment by Olivia on 11th mo. 13, 2014 at 12:07pm

David --

You speak to another aspect I was thinking about too:  that I may be open to the Quaker "new" way of thinking on this, but I still do believe that we human beings, like all creatures, are part of a world that has (divine) seasons.  We don't have all one season and it's sunny Florida for everyone -- validating a Quaker value that the Son should always be shining. 

The seasons keep things fresh in a sense...and are part of the divine order of things....so I will continue pondering how to follow Quaker promptings and get right with that inner Light on this aspect too.

I think just this morning after writing, above, I got a little clearer that my own leading on the matter may be a gentle form of stepping toward how to support loved ones to more fully know they are loved by the Divine (rather than know that I "thought of them" with "an item" and that next year society says I'd better "think of them" with "an item" again).

Thanks, David and Laura, for these promptings to actually apply my current unrest on the matter to finding a different solution this year.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 11th mo. 13, 2014 at 10:53pm

Well, Olivia, instead of an "item" perchance  my own family would be blessed if I proffered a heartfelt and tacitly smug gift of song, "Tis a gift to be Simple"  dropping upon them like silver bells from my honey-ed voice.  Perhaps, then,  they would learn the lesson that they are worldly consumption- mad rats in a maze, whereas I have attained loftier heights.  But that probably wouldn't be a good idea, because my singing frightens the children as demonstrated by their less than enthusiastic reception of my rendition of "Jesus Loves Me", when trying to sing them to sleep.  

Comment by Olivia on 11th mo. 14, 2014 at 10:30am

bwaaaa ha ha....  

Laura, your image of yourself ("frightens children") is good for laughs but thankfully reality falls far short of that.  

I can suppose though that if one feels a smug-ness that's probably a sign that it isn't a leading.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 11th mo. 14, 2014 at 11:46am

Thanks Olivia.  I don't frighten the children except for when I sing! No, it isn't a leading of course! The leading is only to laugh at myself.  I saw a hilarious youtube video once, "I'm a Better Anarchist Than You."  The joke is, I don't really want to do Christmas anyway, the human part is, that in the spiritual walk,  pride and hypocrisy is something to always be aware of.  The best thing about it is that from several accounts my Lord and Teacher was a smart ass that pissed everyone off.

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