If you don't, have a wonderful holiday period. I hope you all are able to catch up with friends and family over this time and reflect on how lucky you are to have said friends and family.
I must admit, I'm a bit of a traditionalist. So when our family changed the way we celebrated Christmas, my mother was worried I'd be a little upset. The thing is, the new way means I get to sleep in an extra two or three hours. Now THERE'S a tradition I could start getting used to.
I was bribed $50 to go to Christmas mass last night. I didn't take it. I have grown to just hate mass. I mean, I consider myself 90% agnostic anyways, so the 'celebration' means nothing to me. If I believe in Jesus Christ and God, and listen to their 'message', I could spend the hour doing something much more benficial to my life and to other people's... like, I dunno, drinking beer with my mates. Or Christmas shopping. Or if I really meant it, I could write, compose, be creative. Or meditate, even though I don't do that. What I'm saying is that you can still be spiritual and skip mass. But try and get my mother to see that. I'm starting to see where I get my traditionalist roots.
The good thing is, she said if I shaved off my beard (check, I was going to anyway) and came to mass (check - I only went because I couldn't organise anything better to do. nsanity_au, after I told him, said "You went to mass?!" and I said "Yes, but I didn't inhale". I didn't listen to any of it though, I brought a Sudoku puzzle and a pen. Solved it in the car as we left mass, would have been quicker but I couldn't solve when I was standing or kneeling, and I felt a bit self-concious when people were streaming past me to get communion, so I lost precious minutes there), my mother said she didn't care if I gave her nothing else for Christmas. How easy is she to please? I got her a book she wanted anyway.
So far I've recieved a couple of good books, some clothes, cash, gift vouchers and some food. More still to come, but so far I've done okay. My sister gave me this interesting game where you use a set of cards with random words on them to form a newspaper headline - the more whacky, zany, or stupid the headline, while still making sense, the better. Each word is worth a number of points. If you can use them in your headline, you earn those points. I assume it's either a round-based (most points after x rounds) or points-based (earn x points to win) scenario. Anyway, it should be pretty fun to play.
One book I got was written by an Australian comedian, Tony Martin. The thing is, before I'd recieved it, I was telling dad about the book, how it looked pretty good and I was planning on buying it. Minutes later I'd unwrapped it, and my mother was fairly chuffed - both that she'd nailed something I wanted (even though I only discovered its existance yesterday), and also that she hadn't given away the fact she'd gotten it for me when I mentioned it... either by laughing, or something like that. :)
Anyways, I have to go get ready to head off to my relatives place... the start of a big day. Food and drink and presents await. But I think I'll be having the most fun watching my little cousins (of which I have dozens... probably too many) opening their presents and tearing around fuelled by the sugar of soft-drink (soda for all you USians) and lollies.
Where-ever you are, whomever you are, and whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a safe and happy day.