It doesn't matter what you believe or not, what your traditions are or aren't. What matters is human beings connect to rituals and assign meaning to holidays or special occasions.
Humans have done this as far back as we can possibly research, whether it was depicted on a cave wall or written down somehow-the meaning of special days affects us. Perhaps now, more than ever, as we are separated and so involved in our own busy lives, days of significance force us to slow down.
For many people, holidays and rituals involve other people, family, friends, loved ones. For some, perhaps a solitary practice of some kind. Ritual usually has symbolic objects, food or drink and a change in everyday activities or routines. Often, it requires preparation, gathering what is needed and planning of time that is out of the usual. It is a way to mark the significance of what is important to us.
The Winter holidays now in full swing in America and many places around the world, allows us to recognize our privilege and share accordingly. It can be a time of great joy in giving to others who have less, so much less than we do or what we take for granted. Even if we do not have the holidays depicted in movies or songs, we can choose how to celebrate.
I am so thrilled to pass down different rituals and traditions to my child. No matter what is happening in our lives, to slow down and connect and say this is important. These moments will become memories of significance and joy. As crazy and dysfunctional as our lives or families may be, these will be the special times we remember fondly. It can be the happiness glue in our fragmented lives.
How do you choose to celebrate the winter holidays? What rituals are important to you?
Happy Holidays. May there be peace.