I used to hate Christmas time. I used to see it as fake, commercial and a generator of trash. As a religious holiday in a mostly secular country, it seemed like a huge farce.
Now I am finding myself getting excited about the prospect of Christmas!
I still don't care for the religious side, even though I respect the beliefs of those who choose to celebrate it that way. Part of me is a little sad that they can't teach the story of the nativity in preschools any more. Even if you don't believe in it, it is part of the mythology of our culture. You may have to be quite scarred by past religious experience to find it offensive. After all, what is there to hate about a newborn baby in some straw surrounded by his parents, farm animals, shepherds, three kings and a little drummer boy?
And yes, I know that there is also a pagan background to many parts of the celebration. I like the symbolism of starting a new year in the middle of winter, but as we celebrate in the midst of a sweltering summer this hardly makes much sense to me. Personally I would celebrate moving towards winter in our climate!
Yule is exciting for me because I feel like I need a nice celebratory season. There are sparkly lights and shiny decorations up everywhere and this actually cheers me up this year. I love buying presents for people. This year they are already wrapped and ready to transport.
I think that Christmas is special for me this year because I need a reprieve and a break. It means that I have survived my first year of medical school. I can't wait to go back next year (sick, I know ;) ) but it is nice to be here and taking a breather.
Merry Christmas, everybody!