First of all I feel I should mention that I am probably not the best person to discuss this topic. Due to my way of living my schedule is a lot more fluent and less structured than those of other people with families, kids and regular jobs. I have no family, I am self-employed and don’t have vacation days unless I pay for them by basically losing working hours. And I have no friends near me to share our traditional holidays with.
It happens that I am the one to take care of the office while other colleagues spend Christmas having dinner with their family or I am just spending my time at home as if it was a regular weekend glad to have some time off. And on the other hand I am used to working during our Kemetic holidays and my ritual practice sometimes consists of nothing more but additional offerings and lighting up some candles. I think I can say that I pay more attention to my daily practice and keeping up the consistency rather than celebrating holidays.
Still I feel weird, when people wish me a Merry Christmas or a happy new year because I know “my new year” begins in the summer and Christmas without a religious context is basically a vanishing point of ecstatic shopping to me and a day of increased risk for family row. I am experiencing this time of the year mostly like a quiet observer. And by the time I have actually noticed I am not alone with this. Living in Augsburg I am surrounded by people of many nationalities and cultures. Not everyone is actually celebrating Christmas and many orthodox or muslim people have to take days off for their religious holidays. And since I am working in health business I am aware of all those people who take care of patients during the holidays, guard buildings, wait for their call at the fire brigade etc.
In a functioning community someone has to take care that things keep going, especially while others take time off for special occasions. And this is where I see myself most of the time. I have to take care of my own life in this way but I also view my work with the gods and for my tradition the same way. I am not an extraordinarily social person, I have no family that insists on celebrating holidays together and regarding the high amount of stress family feasts can create I am not too unhappy about this either
It happens that I get invited to certain holidays of various traditions. Be it Christian, Muslim, Norse Pagan… and I highly respect those occasions and their meanings to the followers of a tradition although I personally only relate to them in a rather theoretical way, appreciating the invitation. I believe that holiday have more of a social meaning rather than a religious one so living as a bit of a hermit I do not feel the urge to pay a lot of attention to them myself. I refer to my gods when I feel I am being called by them – and I am on standby for them every day of my life.