Why Do You Want a White Christmas?

I don’t think some people realize what they are asking for when they say they want a white Christmas. Remember, the Christmas holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Also many of us still have shopping to do. So what you are really asking for is weather conditions that will cause delays in airplane, train and automobile travel. Conditions that will make even walking dangerous due to icy sidewalks.

This year it looks like the area I live in is not gonna get heavy white stuff for Christmas. But I’m not sure that makes up for the years when we had to walk through shoveled sidewalks that were reminiscent of World War 1 trench warfare and drive on streets full of wishes and hopes. The white snow matching your white knuckles as you wished it wasn’t so slick and you hoped you didn’t hit anything. Continue reading “Why Do You Want a White Christmas?”

Halloween Thoughts from the Curmudgeon

This fall holiday of Halloween trick or treat where you dress up in the most current monster costume and ‘threaten’ neighbors until you get enough candy to put even non-diabetics into a sugar coma, marks the beginning of the Christmas season for family get togethers and end of the year celebrations. But for many people not of a Christian belief, such as Wiccan, the Halloween holiday marks the passing of the old year and wishes for the best in the upcoming year.

The original name for this holiday celebrated at this time of year is Samhain, pronounced Sow-wen. One source says that the word comes from the Gaelic words ‘sam’ which means summer and ‘fuin’ which means end. This also marks the end of the year’s harvest. Most people celebrate it to coincide with Halloween on October 31 but the true sabbath is celebrated during the first full moon in Scorpio.

Samhain is a time of endings therefore associated with the Crone aspect of the triple goddess, the elder stages of life revered with images of Hecate. This is probably the origin of the hag-like witches with long wart-crowned noses however Wiccans find this image of a witch as offensive as an African-American might find a black-face comedy routine.

Samhain is also a time of new beginnings and carries many of the same traditions commonly associated with the Julian calendar’s New Year’s Eve. It’s a time to put behind us all the harmful things in our life. It makes a perfect time to quit smoking or other bad habits of mind or body. Part of the celebration for many Wiccans is using a household broom called a besom to ritually sweep the home of the previous year’s bad influences.

Since SaCelticCrossmhain is the death of the old year and birth of the new the veil between the worlds of the living and dead is said to be the thinnest on this day. That makes it a good time to remember ancestors with peace and love. Wiccans will decorate their alters with photos of passed loved ones while sharing the favorite foods and drinks of their dead relatives with guests. Many also leave a plate of food outside the home for the souls of the dead.

So this week-end while you are walking like a zombie, waving your fairy princess wand or bobbing for apples, take a few moments to realize that for some this is still a religious holiday and they are spending a more somber period of self-reflection.

Sources:

  • Cunningham, Scott, (1999).Wicca:A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
  • Drew, A. J., (1998) Wicca For Men. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.

A Few Thoughts on Voting

It’s three weeks until another election day and while watching TV this month its impossible not to see all the ads about political candidates. It makes me wish fondly for the days with breaks full of used cars and Cialis  commercials. I’m sure we’ll be getting back to those soon after the elections along with commercials full of cheery and hurried people trying to fulfill their empty dreams of Christmas.

In the mean time these political commercials remind us that everyone needs to get out and vote. That way there are more people that we can use to spread the blame wider and thinner for putting these jerks in office. Wider and thinner – just like spackling over a bad joint in drywall.

In the long run it won’t make a lot of difference how many citizens vote or who eventually gets in to office anyway after some court finally decides the winner. I’ve voted for over 40 years and all I can think of it must be my fault. I’m doing something wrong when I vote because everything in politics seems to just keep getting worse and worse.

It’s supposed to be easy to vote for the right guy. After all one of the slogans reminds us that voting is as easy as driving. You use ‘R’ to go backwards and ‘D’ to go forward. If that’s the case why do we keep picking the guy that drives the car through the back wall of the garage and over the swing set in the backyard? We can only hope that no children are playing on the swing set when he hits it.

Well since this is the way we know things work and it’s better than most of the other systems in the world, let’s give the candidates one more chance. Even if you think it doesn’t matter who you vote for – just get out and vote.

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