holiday decorations, Christmas thoughts
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:38:46 -0700 (PDT)
From Maraiah Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA.
We put up a tree and decorate it, as well as putting up door wreaths and other 
decorations around the common house. Sometimes a lighted snowman on the porch. 
We have a party and a gift exchange. Sometimes we have a latke meal or other 
mealtime items around appropriate Jewish holidays, and we accept that about the 
same way a member might share something of their Hungarian heritage. We've had 
occasional observances around Solstices or May Day. I am unaware we have had 
any conflict around any such things. 

My personal take is that December decorating is not about imposing 
Christianity. I'm a pagan, goddess-invoking type. Haven't identified as 
Christian since my long-ago teen years. What works for me is the timeless and 
non-Christian-specific symbolism. In the cold winter, the evergreen stays 
green, symbolizing the continuity that is otherwise underground and out of 
sight. Trees have sacred symbolism in every religion I can think of. Holly and 
mistletoe symbolism dates way back in pre-Christian religions. It's dark 
outside, and we gather around light: campfires, twinkle lights, candles. We 
seek out warm companionship in parties and feasts and sharing gifts. We have an 
urge for this in cold dark times that's different from our summer picnics and 
outdoor celebrations. 

I wouldn't stand for people saying Christian prayers to start a meeting or 
meal. But trees and lights and gifts and feasts are a joy to me. 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
(The white mini "Christmas" lights around the edges of the dining room ceiling 
are so enjoyed that we switched them to ones on white wires (walls are pale) 
and keep them up all year. They provide nice atmosphere for evening dances and 
parties.)


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