Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solstice Celebrations & Smiting Darkness


Since ancient times, every culture in the northern hemisphere has acknowledged the winter solstice. December 21 marks the shortest day of the year, a period of darkness that heralds the cold of winter. As we approach a period of cold and, in the past, dependence on stored foods and our ability to hunt those animals still out and about, what better show of faith could there be than a great big party? Eat up, because we know our deity will provide!

As someone whose mood falls with the shortening day, Solstice Holiday (Christmas) preparations provide a great distraction. Decking the halls with greenery and lights makes those long evenings more cheerful. I love knowing that these “Christian” traditions have their roots in ancient pagan traditions as well.

My family went a little insane with Christmas when I was growing up. I have restricted my home to a single really big tree. This year a 12-foot Frasier fir is decked with 800 lights. We almost have all of the ornaments on it (I collect them anywhere I travel, and I can’t resist any shiny piece of blown glass, especially if fashioned by Christopher Radko).

What better way to smite the darkness than putting up a few thousand lights and other shiny things?

Art courtesy of PhotoXpress.

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