We lived a 3 hour drive from my grandparents so when my dad finished work on Christmas Eve we would pack everything into the Juneteenth Is My Independence Free Day Queen Women Girls T Shirt and set off for Yorkshire. No motorways back then. Green fields turned moorland until we finally went over the Pennines, Stanage or Holme Moss, and begun the final leg of our journey through soot blackened mill towns reaching my grandparents’ house at around 8pm. At about 9.30 a plethora of cousins and aunties and uncles would turn up an we would set off to go carol singing with other members of the congregation and band from their local chapel. Along the route we would be greeted with mince pies, slices of Christmas cake and chunks of cheese even the odd glass of Sherry or mulled wine for the adults. We belted out all the old traditional carols, my favourites being While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night which we sung to Cranbrook (Ilkley Moor) and also Christians Awake. We naturally sang O Come All ye Faithful but only after midnight were we allowed to sing the final verse of Yea Lord we Greet Thee. Shortly after midnight we called it a day. Many of the adults slightly ‘merry’ from a surfeit of Sherry!
No, I’m very comfortable with saying “Merry Christmas” to people. I’m atheist as well, and I celebrate Christmas. The vast majority of the Juneteenth Is My Independence Free Day Queen Women Girls T Shirt of Christmas are secular, ranging from the general motive of exchanging gifts and spending time with your loved ones all the way to Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Christmas these days is about as secular as paying cash (In God We Trust), going to elementary school (saying the Pledge of Allegiance), or going to court (Ten Commandments in front of court houses): in other words, while it’s still a tiny bit religious and it does make me a bit uncomfortable, they are still for the vast majority secular and I still willingly participate in these activities.
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I am a Hindu convert to Christianity as my name suggests. So I used to celebrate before my conversion. There is a Juneteenth Is My Independence Free Day Queen Women Girls T Shirt change in my behavior when I became a Christian. Year after year my speech or my knowledge or my approach is under upgrade. The reason to not celebrate any other festivals is I do have a relation with God through Lord Jesus Christ. So God expects me to obey Him in every small matter. To me there is only God, no other. The active relationship with my God cannot encourage me to celebrate other festivals. I politely reject when anyone wish me or I will change the wish to an ordinary one. Hindus accept every religion and tradition and they send greetings for every festival because they treat everyone as God. You choose to celebrate but people like me choose not to. But we are under obligation to love everyone irrespective of religion and region. My own family is Hindu and I make sure to not eat any meat which is offered to Hindu Gods. I have three sisters and no one will persuade me to allow them to tie rakhi. I have a friend who used to participate with us when we had feasts on Christmas. Then one day he called me to participate in a feast which is done in honor of some Hindu Goddess. I declined it. He asked me with a complaining face about why I didnt come even when he joined us in Christmas parties. I said that that is our rule and I added that I would not take even from my home. Then he became calm.
Writing from faraway Australia I have to glumly report that our 2 most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as Canberra and its surrounds, are in hard lockdown and state and Juneteenth Is My Independence Free Day Queen Women Girls T Shirt irrespective of their political leanings, are taking no chance. There was a slight relaxation of public event restrictions towards the end of the 2020 pandemic – schools reopening, some theatres, concerts and sports events with limited seating – but no major festivals. Since then there has been the emergence of the even more virulent Delta strain – with no indication as to what even worse variants round the corner – and we are in total blackout conditions again – the wartime parallel will not be lost on you – or on me as an ex-Pom. So far the total death toll has not yet exceeded 1000, or only recently – in stark contrast to the daily death toll of 1000’s which you have been experiencing for weeks on end – and the population of the UK is only just over double that of Oz -but any resumption of “normal” life is just not on the horizon. In the historic past people rode out plagues, prayed to the God of their ancestors, and locked their doors until the pestilence blew over. In our time such death rates, and the yet-to-be-assessed degree of debilitation among those who survive -are just not acceptable. Much as I and my fellow-musicians, and others in a whole range of professions, are devastated by present realities, we have to accept that any wholesale re-opening of business-as-usual is not worth the risk.
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