A bit of this past week has been spent putting out our collection of holiday stuff. We have an assortment of Santas, snowmen (and women), angels, and of course, wooden soldiers. It’s nice to get these things out and see them again here in the new house. They have taken on a newness since we get to decide where to put them all. The kids and I have had fun arranging and rearranging and talking about the memories all these things bring back for them.
As a family we are a hodge podge of seasonal beliefs and practices. I love the Peace on Earth message that the Baby Jesus brought with him. Last year my friend Elle taught me a little about Kwanzaa and its message of hand made gifts and emphasis on family and community. There is Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights and then the more Earth centered beliefs about marking the passage of time and light by celebrating the Solstice. I find them all fascinating and sacred and think it is no accident that this is a time of year for celebrating and reflecting in many faiths.
For me it is a time to slow down, spend time with my family, and remember those I’ve lost in recent years. Somehow the glow of candles and faerie lights puts me in the mood for this reflection. That said, we have an exhausting schedule in coming weeks of rehearsals, recitals, concerts, parties, shopping, cooking, baking and celebrating which are also so much a part of the season. Hopefully I can find the still point somewhere in the midst of all the chaos and contemplation… it’s all about balance, right?