“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel
We typically go through the month of December celebrating the holiday (or complaining about it) that we grew up with or that goes along with our religious beliefs. After a while these celebrations can become predictable and lose some of the meaning and our reasons for celebrating.
I believe that by limiting ourselves to one or two holidays we celebrate we miss out on the lessons the celebrations of other cultures and traditions have to offer us. So, this year we going to look at the major holidays celebrated in December including Winter Solstice, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve.
I hope as we go through the month you will ask yourself what each holiday has to say to you. My coverage of the holidays will be brief, so I hope you will use the links given in each article to learn more. How do each of these holidays shine light into the world?