Celebrating the Holidays...Forever
What an amazing month November turned out to be! As a contestant in the annual NaNoWriMo challenge, I found myself writing an entire, brand new novel, in only thirty days! Actually, it was less than thirty days because I needed to be done by the time my parents arrived on November 25th, for Thanksgiving. If there's one thing I can't do when others are around, it's write anything at all.
Even better, my novel eHuman Dawn, is now available to purchase on Amazon! It was published on November 27th, the same day I finished my NaNoWriMo novel. I've so many things to be thankful for, only one day of celebrating is simply not enough. Thank goodness the Holiday Season is upon us and I have until New Year's Day to party.
As I sat around the table with my family on Thanksgiving day, I wondered, as I often do--in an immortal world, where all humans lived forever at a global scale, what sort of holidays would be celebrated? If we could live forever, would we come back, year after year, to the same family? Would we hold on to parents, siblings, lovers and children in the same way? What would constitute a holiday? Most importantly, who would decide what our holidays would be?
In eHuman Dawn, I introduce the eHuman, a stunning technological feat of metal, plastics, circuits, fiber optics, energy transference and computing, as a new vehicle for human consciousness. Since the eHuman body does not age, and can be easily upgraded, living forever in such a body is considered the gift of health for all on Earth--whether you want it or not. In order to create their world, I had to consider the social habits of such a race. Would they still desire family connection? What would they be grateful for? Would there be a holiday season?
Celebrating holidays is as old as the human race. Even the American holiday season contains several holidays that have a long life to them. Colonists began celebrating Thanksgiving as early as 1565. Christmas is listed as an official holiday in Roman documentation dated 354 CE. Hanukkah is much older than that, celebrating a victory in 2 BCE. Winter Solstice festivals predate Stonehenge and honoring the New Year is as old as written texts, every civilization has their own way to enter into new contracts, obligations and opportunities at the end of their calendar year. Therefore celebration has a long, immortal history of its own.
And yet, these particular celebrations often center on the theme of life and death. We're grateful for this one life we live. The Christmas story, as well as all winter festivals of light, is one about light being born unto the darkness. The four seasons guided the ancients in their planting, mating and birthing rituals. Today we still honor them, as we can't escape the natural world around us. Each year, over and over, we witness the natural world around us birth, come to maturity, enter old age and then die with the seasons; just like our own humanity. The holidays we celebrate remind us of our destiny of birth and death. Which is why we celebrate them with those closest to us--the people who walk with us on this journey of life.
But what if we never died?
What meaning would the holidays take?
Whom would we wish to keep closest to us, when forever really is forever?
While I can speak for eHumanity, and you'll have to read eHuman Dawn to enter their world, I can't speak for humanity as whole. I don't know what traditions would continue to exist. But my guess is an immortal humanity would have something else to celebrate than the wheel of life. Just what that is remains to be seen...