Have yourself an inclusive holiday


English: Testing out my new star filter on my ...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...
Image via Wikipedia

This is a holiday shared by many different traditions. Jews, Christians, pagans, capitalists, con men and war planners have all found December to be fruitful. I am a man for all seasons and I don’t mind sharing. I am celebrating the holidays with my family but we have not said grace. They respect my non-religious beliefs. If you are secure in what you believe you don’t have to push them on others like a brand of soap.

For me the winter solstice celebration speaks to my mind. Songs like Sleighride, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Izat You Santa Claus feel more meaningful than Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I enjoy listening to Sammy Davis Jr. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra as part of my holiday tradition.

But these end of the year celebrations are mostly about family. Today I will see my niece Grace for the first time. It will be only the second time that I have seen her mother. I am visiting my mother and sister for the first time in four years.  Even at 60 years old I got up at 3:30 not long after Santa’s helpers retired and looked at the Christmas tree I had helped to decorate.

When I shopped, I heard the voices of children asking for their parents. As I stopped at the Detroit Airport I spoke with the earnest young man from Delta Airlines who seemed determined to sell me some kind of preferred flyer membership tied to using American Express credit cards. I had lunch at a restaurant in  the airport and gave a generous tip to the waitress. At the stores I have contributed to the Salvation Army bell-ringers. And I have wished my Facebook friends a Merry Christmas.

The ways that we celebrate have changed and we create new traditions with each passing year. This is the first Christmas of marriage equality in my old hometown of Buffalo. And a gay time was had by all. So many seasons, so many reasons to celebrate in our hearts. Spread the love and put down the hate for we are all our parents’ children.

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