One of my friends recently confided in me about her return to church, and her general spiritual journey recently. She’s undergone some philosophical changes related to church and what it’s like to be religious and have faith in the 21st century, especially as someone in the LGBTQIA+ community. I understand her skepticism and interest, and how those can combine into a legitimate feeling of angst towards religion in general. I haven’t been majorly religious in awhile, not since I was a freshman in high school at least, when I decided to drop out of the catechism program and abandon my Roman Catholic upbringing. It wasn’t without the consent of my parents, though, and even though my grandparents would ask about it afterwards, it never became a hot topic at our dinner table discussions. It was always just swept under the rug or people pretended like it didn’t really exist as a problem to them.
In my eyes, going to church is still an act of personal growth. You’re reaching out to something greater than yourself for validation and inspiration. It’s heartwarming to see, at least when it’s not being weaponized as a tool to oppress minorities or other marginalized groups. You’re using your time for an actually legitimate reason and it does make a lot of sense to me. Just because I don’t do it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate others who go there. As an adult, I understand that how you decide to use your free time is important. You can devote as much time as you want to your hobbies, but ultimately, if you want to succeed as a person, you have to focus on what makes you happy. And sometimes that involves being around other people and chanting hymns with each other. What’s not to like about that?
Welcome to the twelve, or ten, days of Christmas, according to Alex and Anthony. We don’t discriminate based on the number of days you decide to start counting, and we don’t judge in case you start counting by threes instead of ones. Sometimes the gifts just need to be given!
The spirit of Christmas, after all, is to give, not receive. There’s magic in seeing someone’s face as they unwrap and untangle the gift they received from you, as you wait for them to finally lay eyes onto what you thought they would enjoy. There’s a little bit of tension, as to whether or not the receiver will truthfully like your gift, or perhaps they will just pretend to like it (it happens sometimes). But mostly, this is the positive, joyous season of giving.
For me, I have planned ten gifts for ten days of Christmas to give to Alex, and they are all fairly small except for a few larger ones, and then finally one special gift. Alex also planned ten gifts, and hers tend to have more utilitarian means to them, which is exciting for me. New MeUndies tee and a new pair of underwear? I could jump for joy at the sight of that (and I did). I love receiving new comfortable clothing and new books by Haruki Murakami. Nothing makes me happier.
A younger Anthony would have despised receiving clothing for Christmas, but nowadays, I get excited about it. I think partly one of the reasons I didn’t like it so much as a kid is that the people buying me clothes, often my aunts and uncles, didn’t know what type of clothes I wanted to wear. They would grab me Aeropostale and American Eagle tees, and I would wear them to school where people would look quizzically at the differences between my outer self (my personality, my hobbies, my habits) and the clothing I decided to wear (preppy, put-together, and douchey). There was a total mismatch in appearance versus personality, and I don’t doubt that it looked pretty funny.
I won’t be posting anything significant today, I think. I just wanted to wish my nice followers and friends a very happy Easter, if they celebrate it. I hope you all have a great holiday, and enjoy the festivities! I know I will be.
Enjoy the day!