December is a month full of religious holidays: Hanukkah in the Jewish traditions, Hijra and Ashura in the Muslim traditions, Bodhi Day in the Buddhist traditions, Yule (winter solstice) in the Pagan traditions, and of course, Christmas in the Christian traditions. Aditionally, Kwanzaa, although a secular holiday, also holds spiritual significance for many in its celebration of African American heritage.
For most of us, December is a very busy month.
Whatever holiday you may be celebrating (or perhaps rejecting), most of us experience some gift giving, some food, and some time with friends or family in December. Perhaps we send holiday cards around. Perhaps we decorate the house.
There is so much going on, and so many traditions to follow, that it can be easy to lose sight of the reason for the season. What is it? Well, that’s for YOU to answer. What is important to you about the winter holidays? What tradition makes you smile? What is it you like best, above all else?
For me, the reason for the season is the joy and comfort of our connections to one another. I like to send holiday cards and an annual letter to my friends and family (by email, these days, to save paper). I like to take some time to visit with friends. I like to find ways to connect with my family, especially now that our connection is long distance. And I like to spend quiet time with my partner, Peter. For me, this love and friendship is what the holidays are all about.
What you love might be different. Maybe you love choosing thoughtful gifts for your loved ones, to show how much you care. Maybe you love to decorate your house inside and out, to experience beauty wherever you look. Maybe you love to cook or bake delicious foods, to share your talents with those around you.
Whatever it is that you enjoy most about December, I invite you to remember it and make sure it is front and center to your holiday plans. There IS a reason for the season, and you know best what that reason is.
May the many joys of the holidays be yours.