Cast Aside Thy Trashy Tinsel!

I am bemused by the fact that the Western world has gotten so caught up in the Christian portrayal of Christmas. It is as ridiculous as people in Australia spraying that fake snow on the glass panels of their windows and stapling white padding to their rooftops. Why try to replicate the cold miserable weather of another country when your own country is experiencing an utterly magnificent summer?!

The same could be said for the Christian ‘adoption’ of a Pagan festival (the Babylonian Feast of Nimrod – The Son of Isis, who was born on December 25) by celebrating the same date as the birth of Christ. I am truly amazed that so many Christians today actually celebrate a festival that has no bearing whatsoever on their relatively new religion. It wasn’t until well after the death of Christ (around 350 AD) that Pope Julius I declared that His birthday would take over the day of the ancient Pagan festival, even though there is no mention of this date in the bible.

(Most historians agree that Jesus’ birth would more than likely have occurred in September.) Furthermore, the Christian Christmas as we know it today can only be traced back as early as the 1500’s, almost 4000 years after the foundation of Babylon.

But still, the catch-cry “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON” is plastered across every surface in the Western world in association with December 25th.

So, lets get  back to the roots of this festive season.

There are a number of key similarities among the various pagan traditions celebrated in December. They all incorporate the following in some form:

Gratitude for the abundance of resource provided by Mother Nature

Gift-giving to honour loved ones

Acknowledgement of the importance of fertility for survival

Celebration of the knowledge that life will prevail over death

What I find most appealing about Pagan worship is that there is an infinite freedom in how each individual interprets and practices their faith. The general idea and the symbolism remains collective, but the rituals can be adapted to suit the specific culture and environment of the individual.

In my home, the time of year associated with Christmas is a tribute to Mother Nature. It is a time to be grateful for Her gifts. The transitional phase of a fertile Spring has worked its magic and produced a vibrant, buzzing Summer full of reward.  December for us is the peak of a tropical summer. A spectacular array of the Mother’s finest creations are on display. An abundance of rain, animals, fruit, flowers and greenery. Electrical storms light up the sky with their powerful performance. Baby birds leave the nest to explore the world beyond their tree. We venture forth to swim in the ocean and lakes and to camp in the forests and mountains. Our schools and many businesses close down, so it is also a time for family. A time to rest and be revitalised for the coming New Year.

It is extremely difficult to find decorations for my home which are congruent with my beliefs. The Christian-inspired trinkets are commercial and in no way represent the truth of the season. I don’t relate to the Winter-Inspired decorations either. After all, it’s hard to take a snowman seriously when humidity is sitting at 95%.

For those of you out there who experience the same problem, and who wish to  decorate for the festive season in a more meaningful and traditional manner, I have come up with a few ideas that may inspire you.

The Mother's Bouquet

What to use to top your tree? Try a beautiful bouquet of flowers in full bloom. For my tree I have used some lovely silk flowers sprinkled with some sparkly glitter. You could even opt to use fresh ones from your garden if you ‘d prefer. You can wire the bottom half of a plastic bottle to the top of your tree to use like a vase. If you have a flair for flower arranging, you can even use some florist wire and a bit of oasis and create a masterpiece. The possibilities are endless with this concept!

As you can see in the background, I also like to feature the Ankh symbol in my  decorating. It is the Ancient Egyptian symbol of life. The one hanging on my wall here is a mirror mosaic made for me by a dear friend.

The Fairy Forest

My tree is decorated in a forest theme. Berries, peacock feathers, toadstools, sparkly stars, butterflies, birds and of course, the scene would not be complete without a silver fairy.

Handmade straw star

I found these lovely handmade straw stars at the local Salvation Army store. They cost a mere $2 for a bag of 10 of these. I strung a whole bunch of them together on some red wool and they look amazing.

Pinecones and Shells

I always fill a rustic bowl with pine cones and shells to bring a little ‘earthiness’ into the home. The pine cone is significant as a symbol of the evergreen, representing eternal life. It is also widely considered as the symbol of human enlightenment and the third eye.
The seashells are also a symbol of eternal life, as well as good luck and prosperity. They are also considered a symbol of the Goddess.

Holly Wreath

 A homemade wreath of Holly berries. The berries symbolise the life-giving blood of the Mother. They are also considered to be the food of the gods. I  like the organic look of having a wreath bare of leaves, with just the berries as the feature.

Hanging Flowers

I found these hanging flower decorations at one of my favourite stores and I bought enough of them to hang from my five-pointed wrought iron chandelier.
These would be very simple to replicate quite cheaply at home. Some plastic flowers, glitter and some colourful glass beads. A stunning feature when the lights sparkle on them. I love them so much I’ve even hung some from door knobs and curtain rods around the house!
The modern Christmas is a terrible, materialistic machine of wasteful wanting and consuming. We have lost sight of what it is we should truly be thankful for and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with computer games, handbags and fancy italian shoes. If you are daring enough, set a one-gift limit with a price cap. My husband and I set a $30 price cap and we see how good we are at finding a useful, enjoyable gift for each other without breaking the budget. I also believe that handmade gifts are so much more meaningful than ones that are bought. A windchime, a dreamcatcher or a trinket box. To me, a plant grown by slip from your own garden is the absolute epitome of a prefect gift, presented in a recycled recepticle – a teapot, an old vase or basket.
Let us banish the greedy beast forever and get back to basics this festive season!

“I am grateful for that which I have. I am not sorrowful for that which I do not. I have more than others, less than some, but regardless, I am blessed with what is mine.”

8 responses

    • It’s like a frenzy out there at the shops right now. People are really rude too, pushing past each other. Like they are going to miss out on something. And I think this time of year even brings out the worst in families too. Lots of fights over who is going to be where on Christmas Day etc, especially amongst broken families. Tragic. My husband and I have spent Christmas day in various remote locations all over the world, just the two of us, many times. I’d like ANYONE to dare tell us how to spend our time!

    • Exactly! Whatever the season in your land, it should be celebrated in all it’s glory as a gift from the Mother. We don’t need the nativity scenes and 3 wise men and angels. We make up all these stories to believe, and then we miss the entire point. Why do we do that?

  1. Well done! I agree with you. Originally, it was a celebration of the winter solstice, a celebration of the fact that the sun wasn’t going to sink any lower… it was going to be ‘reborn’… that it has become confused with the apocryphal virgin birth celebrated by dozens of previous religions and now become a spend-fest is pretty disgusting.
    I noe you have a coptic cross for your mother. The copts were the ones who rescued christianity from oblivion… I’m not sure they deserve praise for that.

    • It is actually the Ankh symbol – an ancient Egyptian symbol which represents life and death, male and female and balance – known as the Key of Life. There are many different styles of coptic crosses, and yes, you are right in that today, one of them does indeed resemble the ankh form. But this came much much later than the ankh itself. The symbol was taken by the Christians (nothing new!) and originally modified slightly to have a rounder head. Some records show that the original coptic cross even had an additional cross inside the head itself. Over the years, th Coptic cross did evolve to many diffferent styles and then eventually, someone started depicting it to look like the ankh! So of course, all the sheep must have followed! But, no, it is really the Ankh symbol 🙂

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