Holidays – Why so complicated?

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

As humans, one way we get through life is to have days of celebration, of rest, of mourning, etc. We call these Holidays. Have you noticed how the use of the word Holidays causes conflict and gets complicated?


First, let’s talk about some of our Holidays. (Below). Maybe you’ll get to learn something new. That’s always a plus in my book. I try to learn something new everyday.


Thanksgiving

“Believe it or not, Thanksgiving in Canada, or at least the land that would become Canada, has its own history, separate from our American counterparts .(…). Traditions of giving thanks long predate the arrival of European settlers in North America. First Nations across Turtle Island have traditions of thanksgiving for surviving winter and for receiving crops and game as a reward for their hard work. These traditions may include feasting, prayer, dance, potlatch, and other ceremonies, depending on the peoples giving thanks. ” – Alison Nagy (Click here for some history on Thanksgiving in Canada)


Remembrance Day

“The first Remembrance Day was observed on November 11, 1931. Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to honour and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. … Remembrance Day is a federal statutory holiday in Canada.”

10 Quick Facts on… Remembrance Day – Veterans Affairs Canada

Jenna Morton – Pickle Planet says, and I agree with her: “This is not an occasion to argue or to push our beliefs on one another; it is our moment to honour those who have chosen a life of sacrifice for the betterment of all. It is an opportunity to educate ourselves, our family, and our friends about the ongoing conflicts and deployments in which our military is engaged, a chance to discuss the impacts of past wars on our lives today, and a moment for us to come together as a county and reflect on what common values and goals we hold dear.”


She also says: “Decorating for the holidays is not dishonouring our military. Ignoring Remembrance Day is dishonouring them.” (click here to read full post)


~ Keep the conversation going and honor your heart.


On November 11, we as a family, attend the Remembrance Day ceremony in whichever way we can. The rest of the day we spent discussing and learning about past and present world conflicts. The conversation doesn’t start and end on that one day. As a family we continue to learn and remember by talking, asking questions and watching documentaries throughout the whole year.


Many of us look forward to the warm feeling that Christmas day and Christmas Holidays bring. Honor your heart. No one has the right to judge you.


For the first time ever, I have most of Christmas decorations up already. As I decorated, I remembered my late grand-father, my uncles, my cousins and friends who have served… whether or not they have seen action.


Holidays – roots are complicated.

“Etymology. The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig “holy” + dæg “day”). The word originally referred only to special religious days. … In North America, it means any dedicated day or period of rest or relaxation.”

Holiday – Wikipedia

Like many, I thought I knew almost all there was to know about said “Christian Celebrations”. I absolutely did not.


As we should do with everything, I asked questions, lots of questions. Talked to theology students, and did some reading on my own on various religions and their history. To this day I keep searching and asking more questions. Do I remember everything… nope. This is why I continue to search.


Christmas in Canada

“While Christmas is generally defined as the Christian celebration (see Christianity) of the birth of Jesus, the festival has complex origins and ambiguous non-religious resonances. The origin of the name Christmas is the Old English Crïstes mæsse, “Christ’s mass.” The French Noël derives from the Latin Dies Natalis, “Day of Birth.” – The Canadian Encyclopedia


“Whatever the origins of the festival that is held on the 25th of December, it cannot be the celebration of the actual birth date of Jesus. That date is unknown. (…) the day chosen seems more related to the many festivals that mark the winter solstice, most of which in Roman or Celtic times predate the birth of Jesus.” – The Canadian Encyclopedia — (Click for full post The Canadian Encyclopedia)


Holidays – Why so complicated?

I understand how something we have been taught from birth by all around us becomes part of our DNA. I really do. It makes it almost impossible to think there may be some untruths to it.


Already, Facebook posts are showing anger and shaming towards all who say Happy Holidays. How are these awful messages a representation of Christmas? Of Love? Of unity?

T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?


Keep an open mind and keep learning about your own religion and celebrations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions.


We need more love in this world. At the very least… Let’s agree to disagree. And to do so respectfully. ~ Nancy Shimmy


(506) 388-8894

Dieppe NB Canada

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