The World According to Renee

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Does Christmas have meaning if you’re not religious?

I’m not religious. I have been to a Christmas church service with my religious cousins, but all I remember is my cousin farting through it and whispering, “Oops!” every time his bottom let Fluffy off the chain.

We are brought up in a society where Christmas should mean something. Yes, there’s the religious connotations, the birth of the Saviour. There are pagan origins and dancing naked to celebrate the Solstice. Then there’s Santa, elves and Christmas trees with lots of presents on December 25th. There’s family coming together and lots of food.

What if you don’t have or don’t like your family? Is there more to Christmas than Santa?

From a young age, we’re inundated with the idea that Christmas means something. Miracles happen at Christmas. Families come together while forgiveness flows like strawberry champagne. For just one day, the world and all its inhabitants are perfect. Thanks, Hollywood.

Christmas is hard for a lot of people. They don’t have family. They don’t talk to their family. They’re forgotten. For various reasons, people often don’t choose to be alone on Christmas.

This year, I supported Share the Dignity. They held a drive ( #itsinthebag) to collect unwanted handbags filled with sanitary items and toiletries for women in need. These women are homeless or in refuges, fleeing from domestic violence. Often, they have to choose between their children being fed or buying sanitary items. These women resort to using wadded up newspaper to catch their period. Not only ineffective but very uncomfortable as well. These bags were distributed to women in need, with loads of stories about how each bag made someone feel special. Not only were the women grateful for the toiletries, some bags contained books, messages, luxuries or something special each woman could call their own.

The drive collected well over 100,000 bags. The stories and photos shared on their Facebook page told of women in tears because they were overwhelmed that someone else cared enough to put a bag together. It’s not just the gift, it’s that someone thought of them.

Yes, Christmas has meaning even if you’re not religious. It’s a time to think of others who aren’t as lucky as you. It’s about making everyone feel special when it seems everyone else is getting a present. It’s knowing someone, somewhere cares about you.

I have a toddler who has just turned two. We sorted through all her toys, choosing ones she’s never played with, and donated them to charity. Not only is there more room in her toy box, she’s learning to think of others and share. OK, that’s optimistic. She was really just concerned that a stuffed animal she’s never looked at was suddenly very interesting and deserved to be pulled out of the bag to be played with…

Merry Christmas!


December 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment