'Tis the season...
I've always loved December. (Partly, admittedly, because it's my birthday month). Oh how those breathtaking seasonal delights sparked my childlike wonder! I gazed about, eyes wide as I marveled at the dazzling lights and basked in sweet music echoing in stores everywhere.
As if the world had dressed up, each cozy home decorated just for me.
People were nicer, jollier, more relaxed. Even with the bustle and hustle, the endless crowds and jostling elbows. The sentiment woven through my favorite Christmas movies was a bright, shiny ribbon of kindness. A sparkly bow of love that decorated each of my present moments, all throughout my favorite month.
Yet I knew instinctively the dizzying glory of the season ran much deeper.
Religion wasn't central in my home. My mom was agnostic and preferred questions over dubious answers. I did love Sunday school, but mostly for the songs and the stories. So for me, the holiday wasn't just about a mythical journey of refugees seeking asylum; it seemed every birth was magical and heralded an opportunity to bring forth our own salvation.
As I grew into my teens and twenties, research revealed how most of the popular holidays (holy days) began long before the church co-opted the traditions to promote their own belief system. Trees were considered sacred but part of the Goddess religion being supplanted and there are still hints of that in the overly edited stories in the bible. The return of the Sun is a magical time for us all, no matter what our beliefs or philosophy. We all yearn for the shadows to depart and the light to shine brightly in our lives.
If you wish me a Merry Christmas, I will answer in kind. If you say Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Solstice or Happy Monday, I'll answer to that in kind as well.
The key word there really is Kind.
So let's make merry and do our best to send peace to those who don't understand the true spirit of the season. For the beauty and potential of the Christmas spirit should not be limited to any particular myth, as the brilliant shining light of the solstice is available to each and every heart.
Wishing you all a delightful, meaningful holiday season. Whatever tales you share or stories you create, remember the truest heroes are those who awaken hearts. May we all find the loving potential in this season.