07 December 2012

once upon a december.

it is december.

december is one of my favorite months. yes, i am one of those people who has favorite (october) and least-favorite (september) months. december is dear to my heart, because so much kindness was extended to my family in december, throughout many of my childhood years. i realize the last part of that sentence may not make sense. can we roll with it?

i grew up poor...ish. we weren't terribly poor. my parents owned our house. we had two cars. i had my own bedroom. we had food and clothing and such. but my dad spent almost as much of my childhood being unemployed as he did being employed. we were...blessed? to have a great support system of family and friends and neighbors and benevolent strangers who made sure that we had food and clothing, and even toys and things for my brother(s) and myself. many christmases, my dad was out of work. december is tied to my memories of the goodness bestowed on my family by others, and the gratitude we felt toward those who were willing to help us out.

i love december.

consequently, december and the christmas-y season are connected to religion. and each year, as i grow older and my spirituality moves in directions that do not line up with the trajectory of the religion in which i was raised, not even my memories of kindness from others can fill the chasm that grows in my chest where my gratitude toward a Savior of the World once was.

december makes me sad.

i realize that when i talk to people who know about my disenchanted attitude toward both the mormon faith and organized religion as a whole, it may come across that my concerns pertain toward gender equity and the lack thereof within the church. i'm not denying that gender equity is a big concern for me within any structure that i belong to. however, it is not my only concern.

if the first presidency were to come out tomorrow and say that women can hold the priesthood and be ordained to callings like being a general authority and that we should pray to a heavenly mother and that women should choose for themselves whether marriage or motherhood or both are right for them, i wouldn't be able to drop my agnosticism and run back to the church.

it isn't just a question of whether or not i can be equal to my brothers in the eyes of the church, or of god. though those are important questions.

and so, each december, i think about what i believe in. and what i believe in no longer. and what i thought i believed, but never did. and what i thought i didn't believe, but really do. and i realize that i am not one of the "believers." i do not celebrate christmas because of my belief in jesus and what his birth meant for the world. maybe it happened like that. maybe not. maybe some catholics kidnapped a pagan holiday and held it hostage until american corporations took control of the situation and convinced us that we need to buy massive amounts of shit we don't need with money we don't have. i'm more inclined to buy into the latter story than the former (jesus was born in april, right?). but, despite my apostatic cynicism, i love christmas for what it represents in my life: good people giving of themselves to people who are in need of help.

bye for now.

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