I'm not a religious person.
Neither am I anti- religion. In fact, I borrow from a variety of beliefs all the time, as it suits me.
But anything that smells like group-think makes me crazy. And the thought of adopting one set of beliefs for the rest of my life - without the option of changing my mind - makes me even crazier.
So I float.
Try explaining the floating theory to a deeply religious person.
Seriously, if you ever get bored.
More than once, I've been asked why I celebrate Christmas if I'm not a Christian. I find this question curious and somewhat arrogant. Perhaps that's because it is always asked by Christians, in a tone that says, 'either join our ranks or stop crashing our party, you poseur hypocrite.'
Actually, I will answer that question, religious person, if you will explain your glee over Halloween. Why do you create a pretend cemetery in your yard (complete with bones protruding from the ground), and paint a fake bullet hole on your 5-year-old's forehead before going out and bugging the living hell out of your neighbors?
Oh, I see. That's all in fun.
Do Not get me started on Halloween.
The truth is, I'm not sure what Christmas means to me. At 51 years old, I still haven't figured this out.
Sure, I have childhood memories - lovely memories - but, as an adult, I'm a bit lost when it comes to Christmas. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Thanksgiving makes sense.
Christmas? Not so much.
Of course, I can understand celebrating the baby Jesus, but when you add cranky shoppers, Santa Claus (the ongoing lie of which has always been a WTF issue for me) over-the-top decorations and Salvation Army bell ringers, it gets a little weird.
Throw in the family party where everyone gets drunk and fights, or the family party where everyone fights, and just wishes they were drunk, and you have one Merry-ass Christmas.
Nevertheless, every year I try to reinvent Christmas, hoping I will Finally Get It Right. And every year, as it gets closer, I feel anxious and overwhelmed. Somehow, I manage to stumble through it, and occasionally, I even enjoy myself.
While it's true that, as a 'floater,' I may not have the validation of religion to back me, I will continue to celebrate my own, clumsy version of Christmas every year. Why?
Simply because I can.
Picture from pets.webshots.com