Eclecticism is a wonderful thing.
I’ve always believed that, and will probably continue to do so for as long as my brain-housing-group is alive and functioning. Studying, experiencing, welcoming different things into our lives and making the best of them into our own is a great pleasure—and by “our,” I mean “my.”
In her reply to Something Gorey for the Solstice, Ms Misantropia, the hostess of How do YOU celebrate? said, “If you put out the Krampus gift 2 weeks after the solstice, wouldn’t that be a whole month too late…?”
I loved her question so much that I emailed her to ask if it would be okay to get eclectically creative with her party button, in order to answer her question with this post. She said, “…feel free to do whatever you want with the button for my party! Just please could you explain somewhere in your post to people that’s what you’ve done? So they don’t get confused if they visit my party :)” In a way, with these words Ms Misantropia answered half of my question. Let me answer her original inquiry, so you can see…
My native island, the Dominican Republic, has been “discovered,” enslaved, colonized, “educated,” Christianized and many other things ending on “ed” just by about anyone you can think of. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. The truth is that we were discovered
raped and butchered
by Cristopher Columbus and Spain in 1492. The sweat and blood of my native people
wasn’t enough, so the Spaniards brought African slaves—to work the sugar cane
plantations, a few decades later. Then the French thought a little encroachment
was in order, and they crept in, too. Soon Haiti had us under the whip. When things
got way ugly, France (no
longer a creep), Germany, Italy and the
Netherlands came to our aid. The United States did its part, too, of course; as
well as other countries…
These nations brought in pain, tears, death… and their cultures. You see, my Wicked Luvs, the Dominican National Anthem says it well, “the brave and indomitable Quisqueya (Dominican Republic) will always hold its head high.” We will party under the most outrageous conditions. If our nation was “a thousand times enslaved, it would a thousand times regain freedom.” How? You may ask. Well, we gained our physical freedom with fire, blade, teeth and sweat.
Our cultural freedom is a bit more complicated: we took all the good bits from whoever was around, play with it a bit, and made it our own. Some brought in Christianity? Sure! “Ave María purísima, sin pecado concebida.” The Three Megi sound fun, so we welcomed them. Oh, who is this Santa Claus you speak of? We like candy, gifts and red stuff! So… “Ho ho ho.” Krampus was love at first sneer. Bring him in, too! Lovely horns, by the way. What do you mean you celebrate and exchange gifts on December 25th? But we’ve been celebrating on January 6th for ages. We like January 6th. Okay, guess we’ll do it on January 6th then. Party!
See? It’s not that complicated. Perhaps a tad shambolic, but in the end the celebration of the Winter Holidays is about fun… regardless of the calendar day. By the way, if you happen to celebrate a winter holiday tradition that isn’t well-known (and you don’t mind sharing), tell me about it. If I love it, I will celebrate it, too; with respect, joy and all the love in my witchy heart.
It even works with Ms Misantropia’s blog party button ;-)
How do you celebrate, my Wicked Luvs?
- KRAMPUS, The Yule Lord by KROM
- My middle school and high school teachers
- My ready-to-party-until-I-drop Dominican witchy soul