This morning my friend, Bunny Gesserit, posted a few thoughts on her personal Facebook page about Playing Nicely during the holidays–specifically, how for her the phrase “happy holidays” is meant to have emphasis on the “happy” part, because she’s wishing joy to you no matter what it is that you’re celebrating. In half-joking reply, I commented “happy allthedays”; and the longer I’ve sat with that, the more I begin to think that that may actually need to become my Official Holiday Season Greeting.
Here’s the thing: I worked in childcare for a while, and then I worked at a call center for the dat gum gubmint for a while. Now I work for an organization that works with attorneys from all over the country. And aside from the need to cultivate an ability to calm a frustrated person, the thing these positions all had in common is that I have the opportunity to talk with a lot of people from a lot–lot–of different backgrounds, faiths, traditions, religious practices, non-religious practices, and belief systems.
You know what I’ve learned as a result of all of that? People get so, so touchy around this time of year, particularly when you try to wish them a “happy _____”.
Look, I get it that people are very, very invested in their beliefs. I get it that this time of year holds profound significance for a lot of folks, and that this is a deeply symbolic season for a lot of faiths and traditions. I get it that some religions include proselytizing as one of their key tenets, and I get it that some folks have been so beaten down that they’re reluctant to say anything at all about their beliefs. I get it that some of you have “good news” that you want to share with me, and I get it that some of you are having a kneejerk negative reaction to the phrase “good news”–and I get it that the phrase “good news” is not, in fact, specific to a single given faith. Neither is “miracle”, nor “light”.
So here’s what we’re going to do here at Buffalo Tracts: We are going to remind everyone that this is a safe space. Here on the blog, as in our home, it doesn’t matter what you celebrate (or don’t celebrate. I’m not going to break into your house and put up tinsel). Here you can be assured that whatever you may choose to say or not say, or do or not do, as your way of celebrating (or not celebrating) this time of year, it will be held in the same respectful regard as what anyone else is doing/saying/celebrating. (Ok, that’s not strictly accurate. There are some things, involving cruelty and hatefulness, that will never be ok regardless of what you say you’re celebrating. Sorry, but Mama BW gotsta draw a line somewhere.) So if you want to come wish me a “happy ____”, by all means, go for it, and I’ll wish you something joyful in return, and it is really, really ok if our “happy ____”s don’t match. We don’t all have to be the same. That’s the fun of the thing.
And since I’ve executively declared that the Safe Space Bubble is movable, that Safe Space protection extends in a sphere around me as far as my voice can travel, and goes with me wherever I go. In other words, if you’re being a doodyhead within shoutin’ distance of a riled-up Buffalo, prepare to be gored. Conversely, if you happen to see me out and about, please know that you can always come take refuge by my shaggy, shaggy side, and as long as you’re there, you’re free to be whoever you truly are and I will gleefully and lovingly trample anyone who tries to give you grief for it.
The moral of the story here is that here at BuffaloTracts, and wherever this here Buffalo might roam, we celebrate everything. To me this season is all about taking a month or so each year to be as amazing to each other as we possibly can; in an ideal world we’d take all the months for that, but I’ll settle for starting with just December. It’s about Using Your words to say nice things to each other, and Playing Nicely by finding little ways to make each other smile, and Sharing the Toys whenever we see an opportunity. It’s about taking care of each other. It’s about snuggling under literal or metaphorical blankets. It’s about loving each other so fiercely that the cold and the dark don’t stand a chance against us all.
It’s about celebrating all the days we have together, one day at a time.
So with that in mind, I wish you a very Happy Allthedays. Be as fabulous as you can possibly manage, and do try not to get hung up on semantics or details if someone wishes you a happy something-other-than-what-you-personally-celebrate. It’s all about the love, at the end of the day, and I’ll take that wherever I can find it.