With all the Mormons here in Utah, the celebration of Christmas is just sort of assumed, and few thoughts are spared for the other celebrations that take place at the end of December.
I’m not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or anything at all. My beliefs are most aligned with Paganism, but as I uphold few of the rituals, I can’t really claim it. Plus, I don’t own a goat.
Despite this, I take offense when people assume that I observe Christmas (I do, but that’s not the point). From Thanksgiving on, I hear “What are you doing for Christmas?” at least once a day, and each time, I stiffen with indignation.
“Celebrating Kwanza,” I replied to my hairstylist.
“Lighting a menorah,” I told the cashier at the Nordstrom Rack. This retort was diluted, though, by my having to explain what a menorah is.
In truth, I’m doing neither. I’m planning to ski, nap by the woodstove, watch movies, and pet the dogs. I’ll send out cards, give (and happily receive) gifts, eat once-a-year treats, and drink lots of wine.
I’ll celebrate the snow and the fairy lights, the longest night of the year and the longer and longer days to come. I’ll observe—at least, according to the Gregorian calendar—the end of one year and the beginning of another.
And I’ll watch this commercial (a favorite since childhood), and congratulate Eat’nPark on its long-running, harmonious holiday greeting. God (and Allah and Kali and Buddha and the clairvoyant goat in the pasture) help me, it still makes me smile.