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25 December, 2007

For Your Ka

It's an interesting and complicated thing, being non-Christian but from a Christian background, this time of year. Not just because of the prevalence of the pop-Christmas stuff, starting earlier and earlier every year, but because living in a family context means that the family markings of the holiday keep coming up. Not really the religious aspects (the in-laws no longer ask if we want to attend Mass with them), the cultural-social ones.

And some of those are important to me, as part of the continuation of my ka, my family soul; there are traditions that are resonant for me, meaningful for me. The keeping of the names, some recipes handed down from my grandparents to my parents to me; these things matter, are a part of the flavor of meaning, are places that are where I came from.

Which means I'm coming around to the feeling that Christmastime is something I mark as a major ka festival, and an ancestor festival; it's undeniable that my ancestors for quite some time were, after all, Christian. And this time of year is resonant with established traditions, and a time that my family marks with family gatherings as it is.

So in that sort of mode, I went into the season with a round of making the traditional family dishes, and making a traditional Polish dish, and some Scottish gingerbread, all the old family lines. Building up my own tradition of family traditions, bloodlines, heritages, where I came from.

In ancient Egypt, a gift was presented with the phrase: for your ka. For your family-soul, your heritage-soul, your lifeline.

Merry Christmas.

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