Remembering holidays and Christmases past

Thinking about Christmas...

A search of previous post with the label "Christmas" brings up not only travel posts of Christmases away, but remembrances of our last snowy Christmas with Mocha (our 2nd Golden) and our first with our current fellow, Woody, as well as posts that have Christmas fern in the narrative or "Christmas Eve" as a tag.  Go figure. 

A search for "holidays" was equally revealing, although it brought up some of the same posts.

My mother (and my dad, too) believed in giving back at Christmas, even though we were a secular family (my mom, a philosophy major,  took my sister and me to Unitarian fellowship for some time), but my sister (who grew up to be a music teacher and is musical in all ways) and I loved singing carols, and we made Christmas cookies and had Christmas dinner, and gathered folks to the table (foreign students who were far from home).

My sister and I learned about the philosophers of the world (and the founders of the major religions; they were wise people, my mom said).  And I don't have any reason to consider it otherwise, although I'm more or less a humanist, and not a believer of anything much beyond the basic good of people.
Christmas lights in Lecce, Italy
"Home" at Christmas for the first time (since the last ones with Mocha and Woody), after a very many away traveling, seems both welcome and disconcerting.  

What DOES Christmas mean, after all, to two secular folks who grew up with Christmas traditions, but don't practice gift-giving (to friends and relatives), but will go to a Christmas brunch, hosted by friends in the neighborhood, and share dinner with equally secular friends?

We've continued the holiday giving around food, shelter, clothing, and animals, both here and in distant places.  

We'll mark the tradition by going to a Christmas Eve celebration, as we've done in places around the world, from Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Vietnam, Italy, France, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Dominica, and Costa Rica, and other places that I'm not remembering at the moment.  There was a memorable Christmas Eve in Arusha, Tanzania, but that one wasn't celebratory!

Wishing peace for the world at this time of the year and blessings to any of you that read this.


  1. We also have traveled as a family over the last several Christmases. I guess for us the holidays are just a time to be together more than anything else.


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