This Christmas is kind of a bummer for me.

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The house is  all decked out for the holidays more than it’s been in years, thanks to my daughter’s efforts.  But a couple of incidents have occurred in in the past  24 hours that have really put both of us in terrible moods and darkened our holiday spirit with worry and sadness.

I don’t really want to talk about what happened, because it’s not really a huge issue (no one died or is deathly ill)  and like all things, it will pass, but it’s ruining her Christmas so much she has been in tears for 24 hours.  As a person that is much more empathic than I ever used to believe I was (I think some of my natural empathy got freed up through therapy and self analysis), her low mood is affecting my own emotional state in a very negative way.    Any Christmas spirit I had feels like it’s gone.

I’m trying to make the best of it, going through the motions, and by tomorrow perhaps I will feel better and be able to enjoy Christmas day.   Gift giving is always fun and I have prepared a wonderful lasagna (my own Christmas tradition) and have a delicious buttercream chocolate/peppermint cake for dessert.

Another issue is I have drifted away from my church and religion in general (long story) and although I want to attend Christmas morning mass tomorrow, I doubt I actually will.

I’ve been having a lot of doubts about Christianity.   I blame much of this on the way Christianity has been poisoned and corrupted by American right wing evangelical/dominionist preachers, politicians, and megachurches.   Like a person with a specific phobia of elevators whose phobia generalizes to include all enclosed places, my entire outlook on Christianity (even the good kind that actually follows Christ’s teachings) is becoming poisoned.

I know the cure for this is to resist my negative feelings and go to church anyway, but every week I say I will go and then I don’t.    I can certainly understand why so many people these days are becoming atheists, especially younger people.    American right wing Christianity is turning good people away from God completely.  And why wouldn’t they?    Sociopathic people in power have made a God in their own image:  a merciless God that is sociopathic, cruel, punishing, impossible to please,  narcissistic, and who takes sadistic pleasure in endlessly and cruelly punishing the hapless humans he demands worship from.   I know that’s not what real Christianity is about, but the compassionate, Christlike Christians don’t seem numerous enough, and certainly aren’t loud enough.   Instead of fighting back, they turn the other cheek.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice celebration.  I hope you are happy this holiday no matter what you celebrate and aren’t bogged down by stress and worry.

Oh yeah.  That reminds me.  The Winter Solstice.  The days are growing longer now, and that makes me very happy.

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Why I don’t like e-cards.

ecard-vs-paper-card

Today a relative of mine sent me an e-Christmas card.    While I appreciate the thought (thank you — you know who you are, if you’re reading), e-cards seem like a cheap and lazy substitute the the real thing: an old fashioned, environmentally-unfriendly, paper or cardboard actual pretty card in an envelope with an actual written greeting inside.

When they were a new thing back in the ’90s, e-cards seemed uber-cool and cutting edge.   Now, not so much.   Today, e-cards are about as cutting edge as AOL or Netscape Navigator (remember those?)

When I receive an e-card (unless it’s from a disabled or ill person who can’t get to the store to buy a card or the post office to mail it), this is what it tells me about you:

It tells me you don’t think enough of me to take the time to purchase an actual card or take the time to mail it at the post office.   It also tells me you are either too lazy or cheap to make the effort to drive to the store or post office or spend the $2.00 or $3.00 (or a lot less than that, if they are from a box) to buy a card or the 49 cents to mail the card.  But thanks for at least remembering I exist.

Okay, e-cards do save trees.  So I guess they’re better for the environment and if you’re an tree-hugging environmentalist, an e-card makes sense.   That’s the only advantage I can see to them (besides not having to spend a dime or leave your house).

Cards aren’t a big deal, of course.  They aren’t the same as gifts.   We send cards to people we aren’t really that close to — casual friends, distant relatives, acquaintances, business associates, co-workers, or neighbors we don’t talk to that much.   But a card is still nice to get — they are pretty, tangible things that you can actually hold in your hand.   Many people use them as holiday decorations — strung from a garland or propped on a table with other cards, or collected in a pretty basket.   It’s always nice to look inside your mailbox and see a red or green envelope sitting there, and then slowly open it to pull out a pretty paper greeting card, perhaps even with a handwritten note from the sender.

E-cards don’t provide that experience.  They’re not much fun to “open,” you can’t display them, and you are also usually required to send a “thank you” response card to let the other person know you received it.    They are basically virtual cards — like virtual reality, they aren’t the real thing.  They are a fascimile of a real card.

When e-cards were new, I used to send them, because, you know, novelty (and well, laziness).  But within a year or two the newness wore off and I was back to snail-mailing old fashioned paper cards, because they are just so much nicer.   I wish people who sent e-cards would realize that most people would appreciate an actual paper card in an envelope to an e-card.   Maybe I’m just being overly petty, since really, it’s the thought that counts anyway.

Here’s a pie chart that proves most people prefer real cards to e-cards.

E-Cards-v-Real-Cards