This is Day 6 of the 12 Days of YMF-Mas! Whether you love or dread the holidays, we’re here to help make spirits bright. Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!
After a very, very long year of identity politics, sickness, anger, and heartbreak, I am struggling to feel the “Christmas Spirit.” My Decembers are usually filled with Christmas music, excitement about gift-giving, and a craving for wassail. But not this year. This year, my bah-humbug has been so potent that people can sense my dreariness coming from down the hall.
I am stoked about Christmas break. But Christmas?
What’s the point?
I was born and raised in the LDS faith. Though my spirituality has moved to a different place, I will forever be a cultural Mormon. But how do you celebrate a holiday dedicated to the birth of a person whose divinity you are unsure of? Who you no longer worship?
There are plenty of people who celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday. But what does that mean? How does one cover the ground between holy day and secular celebration without getting stuck in the capitalist quicksand in between? I don’t want my Decembers to become about all the things I could get, and all the people to whom I should give things they don’t need so that they will give me things I also don’t need. I have no interest in that version of Christmas. But I’m also not interested in “putting the Christ back in Christmas.”
It’s not that I’m opposed to Jesus, his birth, his life’s work, etc. I’m a huge fan of Jesus. Much of my personal and political belief system is based on a love of Jesus’ life and work. It’s just that I don’t believe in Jesus as The Christ.
So, I guess my Christmas is going to be about spending time with family, catching up with friends, and mentally preparing for the new year.
Is that spirit enough? To keep my focus away from things, to keep my Christ-centered holidays on the shelf labeled “nostalgia,” and to make the rest of my December about the people I love?
The tangible, here-and-now people?
Dani is a lifelong Utah County resident who was born and raised in the LDS faith. She studies literature and gender studies, loves trivia games and dinosaurs, and has an opinion about everything. When she’s not busy sticking it to the patriarchy, she dreams about living in a Socialist Paradise. But, she’d settle for Vancouver, Canada.