As you know, the holidays are traditionally a time to get together with family and friends. It is a time to relax, have a good time, share gifts and stories with others. But that’s not all.
Humans have celebrated the winter holidays possibly forever. The time is obviously near the solstice and the longest reign of night, at least in the Northern hemisphere. For us northerners, it is the darkest and coldest time. It was traditionally a time to engage in rituals to assure that the sun will come again, that spring will follow winter, renewal follow hibernation, warmth follow cold.
Many holidays have this sacred dimension or shadow that connects us to a depth of history. This history is not just about days of religious significance. These holidays provide workers a break from intense labor. They signify recognition of shared humanity, however dim that recognition often was in the past and might be so today. Every one of us needs time to renew, rest, and connect with others. Every one of us needs time to step back, contemplate why we are here on this earth, to renew our selves and relationships with fellow humans and the earth that sustains us. The fact that we have days of rest is beyond a right; it is a sacred necessity. Humans fought for a five-day work week, for example, against other humans who would oppress them, and were successful.
So this year, everything is both normal, like always, and yet totally different from any other time. Never have Americans had a President-elect who brings with him such frightening unknowns. Yet, day follows night. You wake from sleep. Many things continue as they have. Much is changing; much is staying relatively the same. It is time to determine exactly what, on the level of your daily life, might benefit from a change. It is not just the President or his cabinet that might need opposing and changing. It might be something in our daily lives that needs changing. This time of ritually facing the darkest time of year might remind us that in some ways, this is what nature calls to us to do, to face the darkness so the light will come again.
Have a great holiday. Renew, enjoy, and celebrate with friends and family. It is something you need and deserve, and a reminder that what you need can be fought for and won.