Most of the religious holidays for the season are over, and now the internet and the rest of the world can go back to business-as-usual without having to hear about "The War on Christmas" and such. There were plenty of stories about conflicts over religious displays on government land, most of which I thought were reasonable requests for inclusion, but one of them is still sticking with me as we pass Decemeber 25th.
It’s winter break and you know what that means – there’s finally time for a Freethought Library update! 2011 has been a fantastic year for ISSA (a review of that year to come) but the library is perhaps our most tangible accomplishment.
I have been a longtime fan of Robert G. Ingersoll. So, a few weeks a ago I decided to see if he had anything interesting to say about Christmas. Christmas has always been an interesting time of year for me. For one, I love being around friends and family. However, there always seems to be a relative religious zeal surrounding Christmas, for obvious reasons, that always pokes its head up in the form of awkward proselytizing and false reverence.
Festivus is a magical time of year when we gather as people to air our grievances about each other, eat lots of food, tell stories ‘round the Festivus pole, and celebrate fitness by performing feats of strength. For those of you who don’t know, Festivusweb.com can enlighten you on the origins of the holiday: “Festivus was made popular by the Seinfeld episode "The Strike", written by Seinfeld writer Dan O'Keefe. However, Dan based the Seinfeld story on a "Festivus" holiday that his own father invented back in the 1960s/1970s.” The traditions include putting up a Festivus pole, not buying presents, telling everyone how much they’ve disappointed you all year, and performing “feats of strength,” like wrestling or ripping phonebooks in half, in order to signify the end of the holiday. It is glorious.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was still in college, I used to create projects for myself to accomplish between semesters. Once, I wrote a novel. You’ll never read it because it is horrible, but I did it! Usually I would buy a book or two, download some podcasts, or get together art supplies to make a quilt or other time-consuming activity that was not possible to do while working and going to school. If that is something that you do, or that you want to try this year, here are a few suggestions.