Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twelve days of...

There is so much controversy over this time of year. In addition to the overwhelming consumer-oriented frenzy, there is also the "Christmas" vs. "Holiday" tree debates, the boycott of Target because they won't put the word "Christmas" on their signs, the (understandable) resentment of people who don't celebrate Christmas in any form, etc. You are forced to "pick a side," and even in not choosing you are by default making a statement. Sigh.

Whether you like it or not, the fact remains, there IS a lot of energy around at this time of year. Is it up to each of us to find what works for ourselves and our families because it is impossible to ignore the whole thing or be passive. That alone takes energy!

I really do enjoy the idea of a celebration of light at this darkest time of year. I love the lighted trees and the candles. I also like the idea of bringing in the evergreens to remind us of spring. They smell fantastic! And that deep red color on berries and clothes is just so perfectly warming in winter. The darkness, the end of the year, invites a time for calm introspection.

For the past few years our family has been doing its own sort of ceremony starting on the darkest day (the 21st) and going for twelve days, through the 1st of January. This includes both the natural cycles of the sun and the not-so-natural but now ingrained holiday/vacation season.

Each night, for twelve nights, we light a candle, sing a song, and focus on a theme for the day. This works great for us, but I don't know what to call it.

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