The holidays are over. We’re back to work, back to reality and back to the unchanging day to day life. As the holidays approached, we looked forward to breaking out of the daily grind. We anticipated the excitement of gift giving, gift getting, family gatherings, and perhaps most of all, time off of work.
Suddenly, after much hard work, preparation and anticipation, the holiday season comes to an abrupt end, and we find ourselves a bit worn out and facing several months of uninterrupted reality: work, cold weather, daily commutes, etc.
Throughout history, winter has been a time of scarcity, discomfort and grief. The tradition of the winter solstice holiday season is common across multiple cultures and religions, especially those practiced in colder climates. The holiday season brings hope, warmth and love to our hearts during a season that often feels hopeless, cold and cruel. Christians, for instance, chose this time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ for that reason, not because December 25th was his actual date of birth.
Historically, the winter solstice festivals celebrate the fact that the shortest day of the year has passed and the days are now getting longer. They also recognize winter as a time of physical rest as agricultural and other outdoor chores are reduced.
As we face the cold, holiday-free months ahead, I will be offering some ideas to keep us warm and hopeful. In the meantime, be restful, remember that longer days are already returning and enjoy each moment.