Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holidays: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Delete December from the Calendar

This time of year, I see a lot of gay sites talk about 'coping with the holidays' and our special problems as - er - special people. Honestly, I don't think we have more problems than straight people, just different problems... sometimes. Some of the holiday plans and coping strategies posted on such sites sound a lot like those of straight people.

True, we do have a higher-than-normal percentage of 'black sheep' and disowned folks in our numbers. That's not always bad, though. Look at the articles aimed at 'normal' people to help them cope with the loving relatives they all supposedly have. Being shunned by some families can save mileage on your car, money for otherwise obligatory gifts, and time in rehab.

Long-term readers may have noted that my partner and I have developed our own coping strategies for fun outside the family fold. It's not like we don't have family to spend time with, though. For every condemning zealot out there, there's a relative who considers your peanut butter fudge more important than who else uses the kitchen. Some family members even - gasp! - still love us. If you have such relatives, treasure them. Even if they do still pinch your cheeks.

If you've been closed out by your family and feel depressed, though, consider renting or buying The Ref with Dennis Leary. It'll make you feel a lot better about being absent from what would really just be a table of your enemies. Invite some friends over to watch it. It seems that friends are actually healthier to be around than toxic family members. In many cases, friends are becoming a new family for marginalized folks. Just consider them an extension of the extended family.

Most importantly: remember that holidays fall on the just and the unjust. What happens with them, ultimately, is what you make of them.

And don't go into a mall without backup.

Blessed Yule,

Sarah G


At 10:01 AM, Blogger Frank Glenn said...

Beloved pagan daughter
(lucky you, your myths are almost never historicized by oxymoronic "fundamentalist pagans" if they do exist), you managed several biblical allusions (Psalm 23, etc.)which exhibits that you remembered the "good stuff".

"Pinching cheeks" is weird, but then so is mother. I, as is well-known, learned while you were teething never to lay violent hands upon you.

We are looking forward to the fudge and your presence imminently.


First Tier Paternal Ancestor

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Sarah G said...

There are some fundamentalist Pagans out there, but fortunately for us the average Pagan is a goat, not a sheep.

Alas, there is some bad history in Pagandom. A recent Slate article debunks some of the most prevalent ones: that 9 million people were killed in the Burning Times, that Wicca is a direct (rather than deriviative) descendant of the Celtic religion, and that once upon a time the world was entirely matriarchal and Goddess-centered. Most Pagans are smart enough to question these claims (since most started their spiritual path by questioning the faith they were raised in), but it shows up in our literature along with other inaccuracies and sugarcoating of ancient practices.

As for us... we are looking forward to spanakopita. There will be spanakopita, won't there?

Sarah G

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Cincy Diva said...

what a lovely relationship you have with your dad! I spent many years away from my parents when they lived not 45 minutes away because they couldn't 'deal' Now we are okay...but thye now live clean across the country! Hope you and yours have a wonderful Holiday

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Wanderer said...

If you ever have the misfortune of hearing the song "Merry Christmas From The Family" you will get a good picture of the redneck holiday celebrations I get to look forward to this weekend. Hope all goes well with your celebrations.


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