Does your family celebrate a December light holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or something else)? How do you usually celebrate? How do you see your celebration being different in 2020? Do you see any new traditions or ways of celebrating coming? Do you have some great ideas for socially distant celebrations?
I am looking for reader contributions for December. It does not have to be lengthy — around 500 words is fine. We cannot pay but will include a short bio and link to your website with the article.
“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”
― Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Let’s Talk About It
We are talking about Celebration this month in The Espirational Community on Facebook. While due to the founders of this site’s personal backgrounds this is a Christ based Website this site and The Espirational Community is a place for people of all faiths to gather, discuss and praise the God of us all. Please consider this your invitation to join our community and participate in the discussion of this timely topic.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between an equinox and a solstice?
According to the National Weather Service an equinox is one of the “two times of the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a “nearly” equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.” The Equinoxes occur in the Spring (Vernal) and Autumn (Autumnal).
A solstice occurs “at the moment the earth’s tilt toward from the sun is at a maximum. Therefore, on the day of the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest elevation with a noontime position that changes very little for several days before and after the summer solstice… The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. ”
So on this day, December 21, 2017 we are experiencing the shortest day and longest night of the year. Is it any wonder so many cultures and religious traditions celebrate light during this season?
Winter Solstice is observed as a Pagan Holiday with ritual and celebration involving light, including bonfires. We know that our own celebration of Christmas includes traditions and practices “borrowed” from other cultures and religions. So on this shortest day and longest night of the year it seems fitting to at least take a few moments to stop and reflect on the light that shines in the darkness no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs. Light a candle, or a bonfire or set out luminaria along your driveway, hang lights on you house, put a great big smile on your face and let that light shine!
Remember celebration is a state of mind. All the other stuff — elaborate gifts, food and drink, excessive spending is optional. Money is not required to express the joy of the season.
Even the rushed, busy, non stop flurry of activity is a choice. So this year, try just slowing down. Life will still go on. The holidays will still go on. Take a deep breath and remember what this season means to you. This could be your most meaningful holiday yet.