Home for the holidays

I had to wonder why every year I seem to like New Year’s Eve more than Christmas and last night I figured out why – New Year’s Eve is for friends and Christmas is for family. As much as I beat myself up for not spending enough time with them, last night I was reminded why that is.

Last night I decided to visit my parents house because it was the last day that my brother and his family would be in town – I see them once every couple of years or so, so it was the polite thing to do. The TV was on and so began the search for something that everyone could watch – not too violent, not too sappy, etc. It seemed we struck gold when the 3rd installment of Harry Potter was beginning. At this point my jesus-freak half-brother stated that Harry Potter is what’s wrong with this country. My brother is sort of like the father from Douglas Coupland’s book Hey Nostradamus!, claustrophobically devout. He believes that Harry Potter and its “devil worship” is the bible to too many kids. To the defense of the rest of my family, we all argued against him commenting on the many evils this world has endured in the name of some god. How many clan members put the hood over their head with one hand because they have a bible in the other?

Any way, the argument quieted down when my brother provided the next nugget of wisdom: the other problem with this country are the gays. For me, all of the mirth and frivolity of the holiday weekend came to an abrupt end. No sense arguing with this level of close-mindedness.

No matter how much you love your family, you didn’t choose them. At times it becomes hard to believe that you could even be related. No better support for the argument that we are as much a product of our peers as our family.

Either that or my brother was simply born an ass. Either way I’m glad the long holiday weekend is over.

5 thoughts on “Home for the holidays

  1. You have hit the nail on the head regarding closemindedness. If I had to pick just one thing wrong with our grand ole country, that would be it. And I have to blame over-zealous Christian types for a lot of that closemindedness.

    Twelve years of Catholic school totally soured me on organized religion (or at least Catholicism.) Seemed divisive — like “our way is the only way…”

    I feel lucky to have some, um, eccentric relatives — growing up around people that are half crazy at least makes one more tolerant. Luckily, my family is both nuts AND open-minded (maybe too much so!) But still, I know better than to discuss religion or politics with my parents. Somebody always gets offended.

    Anyway, sorry to hear Harry Potter is devil worship — I had missed that message myself, but I only saw the first two films (and on broadcast TV, so maybe the secret satan messages were edited out in lieu of a couple more commercials.) And remember, just a couple more days until it’s a Rockin’ New Years Eve. (Wish I was in Milwaukee…)

  2. A couple of years ago, the Onion did a piece on how Harry Potter was “spreading the gospel of Satanism.” It was hilarious. A few months later, a friend of mine received the text of the article an e-mail from an ultra-religious relative as proof of the evils visting our youth today. Apparently, said relative has never read the Onion. (Or Harry Potter, for that matter.)

    I have a sister like this. I haven’t seen her now in fifteen years. (By her choice, she’s been living in a cabin in Utah with her common-law Christian CrazyTM husband all that time.) She once sent a letter to our gay brother saying that he and his partner (of 30 years) were going to hell. When her husband’s health started to fail, my brother & his partner were on the plane from Germany immediately to come out to Utah and build a wheelchair ramp for their cabin.

    And I ask, who are the true Christians?

    Enjoy New Year’s Eve, Spencer! I shall be spending it solo this year, but, I think a little quiet time to myself is appropriate to close out the weirdest year of my life.



  3. ahhh family. it’s always good to be reminded why you see them so infrequently.

    i don’t see it however as much as being a product of our peer group but rather finding the family in a group of people with whom we connect. genetic family is who you’re stuck with for good or bad. friends are family you choose.

  4. A friend of mine once said to me that christians can be the least christlike people. Nothing could be more true. The increasing closemindedness, selfishness, and contempt found in this country is found at a time when the country moves more and more to the conservative right.

    People have is free will, common sense, and sense of right and wrong. It seems that many people follow their religious doctrines as a set of rules without applying any judgement to their actions.

    And yes – a happy new year to all.

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