Holidays Suck, and Why That’s a Good Thing

Welcome to Advent.

photo

The most important thing about a year goes entirely unspoken because it is so intrinsically obvious: humans didn’t make it. We do our math and choose cultural markers and use these tools to impose our calendars, but the year does not set the terms of our rotation about the benevolent sun. The year is a recognition of those terms, terms that drastically affect the nature of our existence in this life. Regardless of your personal inclinations, your likes and dislikes as pertains to holidays, or anything else, the year exists and perpetuates. No matter what you think.

Holidays are a bother – which is fortunate, because we need to be bothered.

This entire cosmic range is comprised of a succession of supremely obvious observations. As a writer and wizard that’s what’s so difficult about consistently writing about the year’s phases despite their fundamental and crucial importance. It’s easy and indeed comfortable to become so used to living in the complex – even in the best manner possible – that it seems a bother to stop and dwell in the simple. This is ego and inertia, of course, and that’s exactly what holidays exist to disrupt.

It seems a shame to me sometimes that I so decry the lack of collective celebration and rest in our culture while simultaneously dragging my feet when it comes to proper observance of the few opportunities we do get. I’m a wizard by trade, but just a mortal, and not even I am capable of taking my own advice at all times. I get caught up just dealing with the disruption and comprehension of what’s going on in an ordinary day or week that I don’t readily allow space for the larger disruption involved with recognizing the earth’s changing phases.

Holidays are a bother – which is fortunate, because we need to be bothered.

It’s still early in the course of Advent, so get this out of the way now, do it right, process it, take note of what there is to know, then get on to enjoying yourself.

The winter solstice itself is, obviously, no arbitrary point of reference. The point at which darkness reaches its zenith and recedes, the coming “victory of the light,” this is nothing less than the death of one complete natural cycle and the birth of a no one. We do ourselves a disservice if we don’t take a good hard look at the thing that’s dying, that we’ll shed and leave behind. What the hell was 2013? What happened since last December’s end?

If it was a mundane or routine year for you, the summary should be easy. If you had a crazy-ass year like me, you’ll want to really devote some time to looking over all that stuff that went down, careful not to leave behind even the smaller memories that nonetheless make up big aspects of what the year was all about. Really do it justice. I know I’ll at least do that much. It’s only after we do that that it becomes possible to take the next step – taking a look at the thing about to be born.

Perhaps more importantly than our half-baked attempts at divination, this kind of postmortem is a prerequisite for the joyful, lighthearted celebration and subsequent rest that is absolutely demanded by these times. It’s still early in the course of Advent, so get this out of the way now, do it right, process it, take note of what there is to know, then get on to enjoying yourself.

Holidays are a pain, yes. We all have our favorite gripes about them. All of them are valid. Just remember, as you host these complaints, we need the inconvenience and disruption for our own mental health, not to mention if we’re ever gonna somehow better harmonize with Earth and the universe.

Embrace those reminders.

*     *     *

COMING UP IN THE FUN DAYS OF ADVENT AHEAD: we’ll throw down on 2013 and all its ugly glory, look back at some of the highlights of last year’s Wizard of Monadnock solstice coverage, tell stories to children, find out Obama’s true feelings on Santa, and talk turkey about 2014 predictions and prognosis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s