Thursday, December 24, 2009

Brief Encounter, A Holiday Story [Redux]

On Christmas Eve of 2007, I posted a holiday story I had originally written in 1994. The story was my first experiment in 2nd person narration -- I really wanted you, the reader, to feel the story was directly happening to you.
The version that was posted in 2007, and reappears here, is almost exactly as I originally penned it. I hope all those who visit my humble blog will appreciate it on some level. It would be great if it helped rekindle your own joy for this season. Feel free to share the story as long as you respect my copyright. Merry Holy Days!

Brief Encounter 
Not even close. It’s December 13, almost 7pm, and you're not even close to getting done. But then, holiday preparations are never truly over, are they? The lights and the decorations. The tree, the trimmings. The food, the drink. And the gifts. Oh, Gods! the gifts... "If I bump into one more shopper or excited child, or if I have to speak to just one more merchant, I may..." But you never finish the thought. You let it go in favor of something more practical: "I have to get out of here." 
You make your way through the sea of patrons, dodging and weaving, participating in some complex and ultimately energy-sapping dance. It takes some effort to reach the main doors, but you smile with pride: Didn’t drop a single package. Exiting into the night, you feel a rush of crisp air hurry to your face. Snow tonight? Doubtful, but anything is possible. 
Anything, perhaps, save what happens next.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Solstice Musings around the Web

Here are a few more Solstice-oriented blog posts for your reading pleasure:
  • A Blessed Solstice -- Jason does a nice job of summarizing the basic Pagan views around observing the Solstice.
  • The Reason for the Season [Redux] -- Hrafnkell brings his A-game to this well-researched piece on where the holiday season came from. Check out the "identity theft" angle he uses to great effect.
  • Winter Solstice 2009 -- A heartbreaking and personal blog entry that shows just how hopeful this season can be even in the midst of personal crisis.

Whose Holiday Is This Anyway? [Redux]

We're knee-deep in the holiday season now -- Hanukkah has passed, the Winter Solstice is upon us, and Christmas is right down the stretch of this week -- so now seems like the right time to re-post a little something I wrote in 2004. This time around I have included links to "4000 Years of Christmas" and a video performance of Dar Williams' "The Christians and the Pagans." I have also changed "Chrismahanukwanzakah" to "Chrismahanukwanzakyule" as it better expresses my pluralist leanings. I hope you enjoy this holiday rewind...
Whose Holiday Is This Anyway? 
This is a response to the various and recent vents in my local paper about the current holiday season. Specifically, I want to address the memes of "Keeping the Christ in Christmas" and "Jesus is the reason for the season." Before I begin, however, I must point out that I love this holiday season, and I care not one whit whether someone wishes me Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Joyous Yule, or any of the countless other phrases in use. I'll take them all in the spirit intended. I'll even return a cheery Merry Christmas in kind to someone who proffers it. That's right, I'm no Scrooge who thinks that "every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart" [A Christmas Carol].