The winter holiday season is very busy. There are many holiday events that take place. There is Christmas, and with it, Advent. There is Hanukkah. Yule is also celebrated this month. Kwanza and New Years are also part of the winter holiday tradition. Having a wide reaching spiritual center, I celebrate several of these. While gift giving is a huge part of what has become a very commercial time of year, it plays a very small part of our December.
We start with Advent, which for me is a time of preparation. This is the four weeks leading up to Christmas, preparing for the birth of Jesus. If you look at this metaphysically, this is a time to prepare for rebirth, for the coming of your inner light. This is a time for cleansing the mind and spirit and setting out on a spiritual journey. At the end of this journey is your rebirth into a new stage of your spiritual growth. Prayer, meditation, self reflection are all part of the process of making ready, making space for rebirth of your spiritual self. The traditional for weeks are focused on particular aspects which are; hope, joy, love and peace. In the Unity movement the have made a change to; faith, peace, love and joy. Each week my practice will focus on that particular aspect of advent.
Our family also celebrates the holiday of Yule. This is a birthing holiday, celebrating the birth of the masculine divine, as depicted by the winter sun. This is the day of the year that we actually do our gift exchange and have a celebratory meal. This is also a time to celebrate the culmination of our previous years efforts and to start anew. We celebrate the coming of the light and the growth of each day. On a personal level this is a tipping point from Halloween, the start of the New Year, and the taking of action in the new year. This is new energy and growth.
After that is Christmas. This is celebrated mainly in the form of family function. This is typically when we get together with my birth family to celebrate the holidays. There is a small gift exchange, food and camaraderie. My family is not overly devote so the religious holiday itself is minor at home. It is celebrated on Christmas eve in church. This is also, as it should be, a celebration of new birth. Not only does this celebrate the birth of Jesus, but the renewal and rebirth of us all.
The last holiday our family follows during the winter is New Year’s. This is purely a social activity. We celebrate a new year in October, this is a nod to the calendar and getting together with old friends and not much more.
With a blend of new and old traditions and celebrations, we have an active December full of spirituality and celebration.