At first, I couldn’t put my finger on why this one is better, so I sat down and listed what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and our overall attitude.
Here’s what I discovered that helped make this season joyful:
Time spent with new and old friends
- In previous years, health issues and money prevented both my immediate and extended family from traveling to visit.
- This year, we had the money, so we invited my best friend to fly in from Colorado and stay with us. She can’t afford it; we can. The gift of giving felt great on both sides.
We also have been able to include our youngest son and only grandson in our celebrations. That’s always a bonus.
* Writing 25,000 new words during the November NaNoWriMo month of writing. I list this under “celebration” because writing that hard throughout November enabled me to put the book aside for December and get my house ready for holiday guests, normally an extremely stressful activity.
* Hired a woman to clean house for me a few times. She needed money, I needed time. This is an indulgence I don’t normally partake in, but boy, did it help! Thanks, Jordan!
* Shopping early, over a few months, thus giving myself the time to wrap presents and enjoy the process.
No, I am NOT a happy Dec. 24th prep person. I want time to spend several evenings gazing at the Christmas tree and sparkly packages in the dark, with a steaming cup of spiced cider in hand.
* A wonderful Yule celebration with the Arizona Reclaiming group. This year, I brought my Colorado friend, Lisa, with me. It was her first Wiccan gathering and she got to meet everyone while smudging. Thanks, Lisa!
* A wonderful Yule celebration with the Arizona Reclaiming group.
This year, I brought my Colorado friend, Lisa, with me. It was her first Wiccan gathering and she got to meet everyone while smudging. Thanks, Lisa!
We try to go here every year. The quiet, candle-lit atmosphere relaxes and grounds, and it’s a wonderful part of the season.
From the first wild turkey barbequed on a spit in front of a cave, to Thanksgiving dinner pulled out of a fancy, expensive oven, the celebration of eating together is a ritual of sharing.
And whether listening to a full orchestra, pagan songs by a bonfire, carolers under the stars, or Grandma romping up a little two-step after dinner, our voices raised in heavenly chorus is praise of the season, our current fortune, our last successful harvest, and our Goddess.
This is what celebrations are made of. This is what I wanted to find again.
A great loneliness has settled across a great many people in this world. We no longer buy into the old fear-induced religions. The wrathful “gods” have lost their power over us, and we let them rant and rave until we click off our TV sets. But deep inside us there is a space that is painfully empty, as if we had a hollow above our hearts where the old revels used to live, yearning to be filled.
We must be careful about what we feed our spiritual hunger. It can’t be junk food, or hate, or unfocused anger and jealousy.
Instead, let’s first fill the emptiness with boundless courage. The courage to renew our faith in ourselves as children of the natural gods. To acquire courage, we must regain our natural dignity, and vow that only the best of thoughts shall enter the sacred space of our mind. We must affirm our kinship with the vast universe, not just the space around us, and claim the Earth, our beautiful blue planet, as our mother. Then we will have found our natural family once more.
Today we drink to excess or take drugs, but can you imagine using dance, music, fresh air, moonlight, singing and good company to achieve ecstatic happiness? Imagine becoming gods and goddesses behind our masks, encountering people we would not normally meet and sharing with them the joy of the seasons? Imagine taking back the streets, not only for righteous marches, but for revels, for dancing, and for walking together. Imagine the common denominator is the love of nature and the seasons. Imagine that it abolishes class distinctions, and opens the portals of the rich open to revive the poor with welcome. How does that feel?
Celebrate!! The smallest events can be made into great moments in our lives by taking the time to celebrate them. Let the fun begin!!
Blessed Be to you and yours. May you cross into the New Year laughing!