whatever we call it, or whatever we celebrate,
is cultural thing now, celebrated all over, even by nonchristian countries and families.
It's just fun.
It often represents a time to focus on bonds we have, family, friends, love, sharing, and merrymaking. Nothing to do with religion.
What does this holiday mean to you?
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE?
WHAT ARE YOUR CUSTOMS OR TRADITIONS??
I'm not one to think that its wrong to take from the environment what you need, even want, but a balance is needed to be made. I'm a little pagan like that too. I don't see the forest as alive in the senses I am, consciously aware, but I'm like a pantheist in the sense that I believe we live as one with the universe even when we don't see it that way. The universe isn't conscious, it isn't God, but in a very real sense we in it, live, and move, and have our being. We evolved together, to work together, and we should respect that balance. I know it isn't always possible, given the world we live in, and so I try and be understanding. I would too quite enjoy the search for the perfect tree, but if I had my way, I'd find one close to me and decorate it outside while it was alive. My family actually does that come to think about it, at my G-mas house, slipped my mind until now, probably because I don't do the decorations because its already decorated by the time I get there.
//"I would too quite enjoy the search for the perfect tree, but if I had my way, I'd find one close to me and decorate it outside while it was alive. "//
Yes, i so agree!
It's just a time to be with family and be happy for me.
What it means to me: more or less it's the time of year you give gifts to those you've bothered and recieve from those who have bothered you. We all burden each other from time to time over the course of a year. Not to say it's intentional or all that bad BUT, it does wear on a persons mind. You may think of me as shallow or what have you but, I could care less. The reason I celebrate it is to show people that I am thankful for what they've done for me and *of course* to get some free stuff that I couldn't buy for myself during the year past. I like to spend time looking at light displays with my family... at least thats what I would say if we could all get along for more than 10 minutes in a car. Oh well, dinner is usually extra good. :)
How I celebrate: if you consider being happy/excited after someone unwraps an awesome gift *say, the copy of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim that my uncle got me last year* then - I celebrate quite joyfully. Winter in general is my 2nd favorite season *Fall/Autumn being number 1 in my book due to Samhain and the weather* but to be honest I hate the "X-mas" season. The rather annoying singing type decorations get put up way too early, traffic jams are massive, screaming kids in stores verbally dueling with their screaming parents... it's no wonder suicide rates rise at that time. Basically: just eat cookies and watch Anime X-mas specials or movies that have nothing to do with X-mas. Also, I found some great X-mas songs... if you like killing off hoards of the fleash hungry undead in the snow. LOL.
CUSTOMS/TRADITIONS OF MY FAMILY: even if we no longer do some of these, I'll name them anyways. First off and foremost we simply must have a tree and get the snowman out. My grandpa bought a big light up snowman for me one year and my grandma won't rest until we get it out each year. I personally have to try and make our tree as Metal yet as festive as possible. Spacing, oranaments, lights, placement - I'm a customization freak like that. As I meantioned above: COOKIES! Among other baked goods/foods my mom makes during the holidays like Brownies, Stuffing, Pumpkin Bread, ect. I think her Fudge is the best thing she makes, it's something I'd brave a snowstorm for any day or night. My dear, sweet cousin whom I was raised with/around can't help but come over to help us decorate the house and tree - by playing Jimmy Buffet music loud as can be between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM on a weekend. Her heart is in the right place although it seems her watch turns up missing that day. My grandma is from Kansas City, MO so whenever we have it she wants tinsle, popcorn and wtfwouldyouputthatonatreefor on our tree. We hardly ever put lights up outside, mostly due to my fear of climbing on latters that shake and make bending noise when I step on them. The entire household must assemble together in the same room when we open gifts. Gifts can opened as fast or as slow as you want but all members must present and awake before we begin.