aI couldn't resist posting this picture of Kimball Hall at the University of Maine in Machias, Maine, where I lived my freshman and sophomore years of college. During our sophomore year, my roommates, Joy Fitzherbert and Gail Wood and I shared the "premier" spot in the dorm: it was referred to as "the apartment" and consisted of one large room, a smaller room, and our own private full bath, and was directly adjacent (through the window) to the porch roof.
In the spring, we would throw our pillows and blankets out the window onto the porch roof and lie out on the roof to get a tan. The rail detail around the edge of the porch roof served as a barrier to hide us from people on campus, although I understand we posed a bit of a distraction for male students in the second floor laboratory in the classroom building across the street and just slightly higher up the hill!
If I seem a little disgruntled it's because since I retired, I don't have the cash to do Christmas as I'd like! My limited budget takes all the fun out of shopping, and my family keeps getting bigger! As a result, I don't think I'd miss the holiday if it didn't come at all.
Putting up and decorating a tree has become a major chore, so we bought a small, artificial tree to make things easier. Yesterday I finally put it up and decorated it (this 3-foot bit of yuletide joy) and then I proceeded to knock it over accidentally this morning, and nearly every ornament fell off--so I was back to square one! Luckily, with it being only 3 feet tall and sitting on a 1-foot tall box, at least no ornaments were broken.
Now, to the other thing that has me disgruntled: The big broohah regarding "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays".
This time of year represents holidays for people of many faiths and beliefs. For example:
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 26th, the day we refer to as Christmas.
Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on December 8th, when they celebrate the enlightenment of their religious leader, Buddha.
Eid-al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims on December 10th, the Festival of Sacrifice.
Hanakkuh is an 8-day Jewish observance which begins on the 25th day of Kislev, according to the Hebrew calendar. (Thank you, fishducky for catching my error! I think my brain was on overload from the plethora of holidays I found in December!)
Diwali, the Festival of Light, is a 5-day celebration observed by those in Tobago, Malaysia, India, Surinam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad as well as other countries where Hindus abide.
Las Posadas, which translates as The Inn, is celebrated from December 16th through December 24th in Mexico, Guatamala, and the southern parts of the United States.
Kwanza, an ancient African harvest festival is celebrated from December 26th through January 1 by African Americans.
Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th in New Zealand, and parts of Canada and Britain.
Hogmanay, a celebration of the year's end is observed December 31 through January 2 in Scotland, and by those of Scottish descent.
So, the next time you hear someone say, "Happy Holidays!" know that they are being inclusive of all religions and cultures with special days dear to their hearts in December. Don't get all up tight thinking they're taking "Christ" out of Christmas; they are wishing you well, along with others who chose to celebrate this time of year!
Christians are not the only people on earth, or even in this country, so lighten up! This is a happy time of year for many, not just those who follow Jesus.