|apples floating in lovely oil lamp bought at Quilcene Holiday Bazaar|
Our dark, northern winter days encourage the celebration of light, a theme found in the traditions of all the December holidays.
Christmas is full of lights as people celebrate the symbolic light of hope and love brought by the birth of the baby Jesus during a time of great turmoil in the world. Hanukah, the “Festival of Lights”, also celebrates hope and victory during a time of crisis, focusing each day on the lighting of a candle in the menorah. The relatively new holiday, Kwanzaa is celebrated by lighting seven candles in a kinara.
And Solstice celebrations commemorate of the return of light as the earth makes its way back toward the sun. (at least this northern part of the earth! In the sunny southern hemisphere they celebrate the earth and sun at their coziest point during these holidays of light.)
The short, sometimes dreary days of December inspire us to be reflective and look deeper to find light not only within ourselves, but in our relationships; and to find light in a world once again in a time of turmoil.
And there is light to be found – in the joy of new births, the smiles brought by kind deeds, the work of good people bringing relief and hope to people in cities and villages everywhere. It has become cliché, because it is true – we create our own world by what we focus on. Our greatest gift to others and ourselves would be to turn our focus on that which is light, that which is hope, putting our focus, thus our energy into the change we want to manifest. Shed light on what you want, not on what you want to be rid of.
December holidays come from strong traditions of people with faith, ‘rebels’ of their times focused on hope and positive change – people who looked for the light and found it.
Wishing you a season of light, love and joy and a New Year full of hope.