I am the Grinch. Yep, that one family member that stole Christmas and ruined it for one and all...or at least that is how some of my family would like to make me out to be. But it's been four years since I made the shocking announcement that I would not be leaving my home on Christmas Day and I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore.
Find ways to honour those you miss. Look at old photos and tell stories of any loved ones you have lost. Honour the expectations that you may have had for relationships, life and even your vision of the season, as they are a part of our story. Let a lost loved one remain alive in you, and be an active part of your experience.
The irony is that it seems to be some Christians themselves who, in an effort to show respect for non-Christians, often pre-emptively remove "Christmas" from their greetings, events, and public symbols. While the intention is laudable, the effort is largely unnecessary. I appreciate and welcome the deep connection Christians have to the symbols of their holidays.
When it comes to solving climate change, we have all the technological solutions we need. But as the recent climate talks in Lima reaffirmed, political solutions remain more elusive, largely because of the vastly different perspectives of developed and developing nations. As well, it seems we as individuals have a ways to go, both in thought and action.
Massive military egos, political conniving, and Western dilly-dallying have resulted in a potent brew. And now has come famine on a vast scale, in what the United Nations has described as perhaps the worst humanitarian disaster of this recent era. Two million people are now on the move, displaced by conflict and lack of resources.
Nobody wants to be Ebenezer. But during the holidays, when all are merry, and my eyes are watering with the unexplained tears of depression -- which has not left me, but has only fooled those around me -- the oft-repeated, "What's wrong now? You seemed fine yesterday," only serves to make the demons in my head cackle a little louder.
So when you're sitting at the dinner table eating turkey dinner for the tenth time or struggling to find room for all those new presents, consider yourself grateful. Please don't take anything you have for granted. What you consider such a normal part of the holidays are things people like me dream about and yearn for.
Sure, Santa may determine that a child's behaviour is not up to snuff and is therefore a reason to deny said child of gifts on Christmas Day. But why does Santa have to be the judge, jury and (figurative) executioner on December 25th? Whatever happened to parental responsibility and the ability to look one's child in the eye in an attempt to deliver the verdict?
Up on the rooftop, reindeer pause. Out jumps...well, you know who. Whenever Christmas gets close, children of all ages eagerly await the return of Santa Claus. Known by many names all over the world, Father Christmas is one of the most lasting figures in history. He's everything from a mythical father figure to a kick-ass salesman of soft drinks. Here are a few random facts about the jolly old one.