I love watching as the streets throughout the town light up, more houses dispelling the deepening darkness each night. I love the gatherings and opportunities to share food and drink with everyone. I love giving gifts, finding or making the perfect thing which reminds me of the person I am thinking of, a gift of acknowledgement and recognition. I love watching the excitement on my children’s faces as the story unfolds of Santa, and Baby Jesus and Solstice and Chanukah. There are so many ancient elements which we still celebrate that reflect a deeper need to connect with nature and the cycles of birth, growth, harvest and celebration. I wonder how many people know that the Christmas Tree and Holly and Mistletoe and Yule Logs harken back to a time when winter would lay across the land and the only things that remained green and fertile were honoured as we asked for the sun and light to return. What I love the most about the holidays are the connections we make with total strangers and loved ones as we share an ancient knowledge that there is no life without community to support us and for us to be a part of.
I believe that time as we experience it is a construct of our need for sequence, to be able to see a progression through our human experience. What makes more sense to me then linear time, however, is cyclical time – I find it has a bigger picture feel that I can comprehend. So as each year comes to a “close” the next cycle begins and within that cycle there is continuity and from that I take comfort. All things change and yet within that change there is a universal ebb and flow and with the knowledge of that I take comfort. Each year, my girls receive new pj’s and they take comfort in that; that in all their growth from the previous year as their ankles and wrist show through last year’s Christmas jammies, new ones are waiting for them under the tree – change and continuity – which is for me, exactly what the holiday season is all about, and from that I take comfort.