I’ve really been enjoying the journey to Christmas this year. It’s been fun to play the Christmas music, talk about Christmas memories, plan Christmas events and buy gifts to share with others. Even though Christmas comes along with some challenges and logistics to work through, I always look forward to the magic of this time of year, especially all the lights that come along with Christmas and the other holidays celebrated at this time of year. Christmas alone comes with lights on trees both indoors and out, lit candles, advent wreaths and door wreaths, and all kinds of blow-ups and other lit decorations. Add in the Menorah for Hanukkah, the Las Posadas celebration, Kwanzaa’s lights, and all of the lights that are lit simply because it’s December and dark in much of the world for most of the day/night and it’s clear that lights are everywhere.
All of this light speaks to me on several levels. First, it’s a guide. Countless stories and stories of miracles have had a connection to seeing a pinprick of light off in the distance that made all the difference. Today we can work anytime and anywhere thanks to the advances of technology that allow us to have all kinds of safe, artificial light. The light chases away the shadows and mysteries and allows us to see clearly where we’re going and what’s going on around us, helping us make the right decisions about which way to go and what to do.
Second, the light is an encouragement, inspiration and reminder. There’s a lot of darkness in the world, especially during this time of year in the US, which can be discouraging and depressing to many. I know I enjoy seeing the light of the sun rather than the dark of night, but the way nature works we get both light and dark, it’s part of the rejuvenation cycle. The extra lights of the holiday season give us the encouragement we need to get through this dark time of year. They’re also a reminder to us to be a light to the world and spread light wherever we go.
Third, it’s cheerful! Above all I find this time of year an opportunity to spread cheer. It’s acceptable and expected to spread cheer and be cheerful and have fun during this month, something that we don’t do during the rest of the year. I know that being serious and dealing with life’s challenges is part of our day-to-day lives, but what happened to cheer being part of them too?
How are you celebrating with light this year?