Sunday, December 21, 2008

Celebrations of Light and Hope

It has become tradition that on Dec 21 I repost this entry from my first year of blogging. It originally appeared on my AOL Journal in 2004. This is the fifth year that I have 'reprinted' it. It still says what I want to remember about this time of year, so I am repeating it again this year. Some of the circumstances have changed...  Our little family is one smaller with the passing of D.K. We have changed jobs and moved a couple of times. G and I are now married... Things change and yet some things remain the same. I hope you enjoy my annual Celebration of Light and Hope.

                                     
Today is the shortest day of the year... and the longest night. It is the first day of Winter. It is the celebration of Yule. It is an acknowledgement of Hope. That Light and Warmth and other good things will always return after the darkness. It is the day that G. and I celebrate as our personal Winter Holiday. In ancient times, this was the festival of the rebirth of the new god and a promise that after today the days would get longer, the nights would get shorter, and warmth and Spring WOULD come.

Yes, secularly we, like so many others, celebrate Christmas. In the United States, Christmas is no longer just a religious holiday. With the gift giving, and Santa, and the decorations... Christmas has become more, and less, than what was originally intended. Everyone takes the pieces and parts of the holiday that works for them. Some embrace the religious parts, and try to ignore how secular it has become... others embrace the secular with it's parties, lights, Santa, and presents and ignore any religious beginnings of the holiday. But, at it's heart, it is still a Winter Holiday.. A celebration of Hope. And every religion/belief system seems to have a celebration of some type that embraces this.

I grew up in the States, and therefore my memories of a Winter Holiday include all of the above. And Christmas itself is as much a melting pot as the United States itself. The Christmas tree is German, and Santa is the culmination of a blend of traditions from many countries. Mistletoe? Druid. Christmas Cards? England. You see what I mean. G. and I will be celebrating with my brother and his family on Christmas Eve at his house. That's the day we all have off together. Christmas Day G. is working so a co-worker can be home with his small children for the all important Santa Claus ritual <g>.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter who you are, or what your core beliefs are... There is a place in the Winter Holidays  for all. But, please, take a moment this season, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Yule, or Christmas, to remember that the REAL reason for all of these celebrations is to celebrate HOPE in all of its forms
.

  
                                              Christmas Candles
graphics by useless graphics

12 comments:

Donna said...

It's as true and to-the-point as it was in 2004.

Have a good holiday season of hope.

kelly said...

love it... Hope is all we have... wishing you and yours a blessed Holiday...
Kelly~

Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

What a beautiful entry and just as pertinent and true of a message today as when you first posted it. Here's sending you hope and winter blessings....HUGS

Traci said...

Merry Christmas! Many blessings to you and yours!

cw2smom said...

Well said! Blessings for a wonderful holiday and a great NEW year! Lisa

Nancy said...

Beautissssimo sentiments my friend!

Nancy

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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Rising Rainbow said...

What a nice tradition.

DesLily said...

Merry Christmas JJ and Geoff!..

hope it's the best ever !!

Kelly said...

I enjoyed this entry very much. It is going to get warmer! The days will get longer again :) This puts a smile on my face...thankyou :)

~ L said...

An absolutely beautiful post. Hope you & yours have a wonderful holiday!

Becky said...

Happy Holidays!