Tis once again the Dougmas Season and I thought I'd remind you of what Dougmas is all about.
Dougmas is the time of year when we Dougintologists celebrate the birth of the Prophet Doug. Granted, Doug was born in May, but so was Jesus. May or June. Certainly not December. We're just jumping on the bandwagon of religions that have tried to make the ancient solstice celebrations their own. I'm just trying to help convert the heathen Jesus worshipers to the one true religion.
As Dougmas is new we're still getting a few traditions off the ground.
Here's a short list.
1) Instead of putting up trees in the house, either real or artificial, you should plant a Douglas Fir. Considering that the ground is likely frozen and hard to dig it is acceptable to wait until May 25, Towel Day, to plant your tree. The world needs all the trees it can get.
2) Doug preaches against giving money to religious charities. Most of the time religious charities require attending their church services as a prerequisite to being giving. Starting December 1st, put an empty jar near your front door (or wherever you empty your pockets). Instead of dumping your spare change into a Salvation Army bucket take it home and put it in the jar. On January 1st give the money, or a check for the equivalent amount, to a non-denominational charity or non-profit organization.
Doug's preferred charities include:
* Solar Electric Light Fund (http://self.org)
* Trees for the Future (http://treesftf.org/)
For Douglas Adams I include:
* Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation (http://www.dianfossey.org/home/)
* Save the Rhino (http://www.savetherhino.org/)
3) Dougmas is not tied to a particular day. It's more of a season that I alter from year to year until I can figure out a good fit. Last year I used December 20 through December 31. I still like those dates even though I'm saying the Dougmas Jar should go out on December 1st.
The reason I'm making it a season is because there are so many holidays with roots in the winter solstice (Dec. 22). There are many families of mixed faiths that will fight over which holiday they'll gather on. Many people have to try to rush to celebrations at the homes of multiple parents and grandparents or have to decide between relatives in different states.
The point of Dougmas is to spend time with family and friends. If your family is getting together for Christmas then be there for that. If your family gets together for Hanukkah then be there for that. Ditto for Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, New Years, Agnostica, or just Saturday night. Don't rush around in the cold and snow and try to choke down several big turkey dinners. Spend the time with the family.
Of course, if you can't stand your family you can still use the old excuses as an escape strategy.
4) Gift exchanges are so common with the other holidays that it can't be ignored. If you work somewhere that requires someone works on Christmas then go ahead and work that day and collect the extra holiday pay. Then celebrate Dougmas after the 25th so that you can pawn unwanted gifts on others or take advantage of the after Christmas sales. Thriftyness is next to Dougliness.
If the subject of religion comes up while visiting family just remember Dougintology bumpersticker number 1. "I'm wrong and so are you." This should help ensure merrier Dougmas.