December 25, 2018, Prescott-
The conference over, it is back to Christmas City. Two gatherings graced me with their invitations today. A small group of friends has taken to observing special holidays, with a noon meal, sparing no celebratory detail. On Thanksgiving, it was a full-on turkey dinner. Today, it was ham; broccoli and kale salad, in poppy seed dressing; sweet potatoes and acorn squash. Homemade fudge and chocolate chip cookies were the desserts. We watched a fresh performance of “The Nutcracker Suite”, on PBS. It got Christmas off to a fine start.
In the late afternoon, I headed to another gathering of friends; family members who have been consistent friends of mine for the past five years. We enjoyed four kinds of homemade pizza, then watched a segment of “Bolt”, followed by a Hallmark love story-much needed by some, after the intensity of the holiday.
Two things jumped out at me about the day. First, I encountered a part of myself that needed to be let go. Without going into detail, one of my friends let me know, very subtly, that this unattractive aspect of my personality had worn out its welcome. I also recognize that a small leap needed to be made, in my personal growth- so here goes another small step for a man.
Second, and most importantly, the day may have had Wiccan roots, centered on the Winter Solstice and acknowledgement of nature’s rhythms, but it has long become a universal recognition of the power of Divine Love. We can say, with some assurance, that Jesus the Christ was actually born closer to the coming of Spring, perhaps late March or early April, yet here we celebrate love and the work of peace. Once again, it’s obvious that peace is messy, at first, and comes hard. So, Christmas can be tortuous for those who feel unappreciated or shut-out. I have been there, in my youth, and fortunately had family members who knew how to assuage my fears and anxieties. I will do what I can for those who are going through that now.
I hope all have a blessed Christmas season- clear to New Year’s, and beyond.