It is almost the shortest day of the year. Light is becoming less prevalent and you are probably thinking that I am a crazy person for wanting to write about light. Guess what? I may be a bit crazy but light is the one thing we all celebrate and want, particularly here in the Northern Hemisphere, during the winter months.
A few years back – my youngest is now a senior in high school and this was when he was in 3rd grade – I volunteered to go into his class for the winter holiday party. Elementary schools these days are very politically correct, even if the students do not understand what this is, so as to keep all the parents happy. I knew I could not go into this class and play a game that might be Christian or might be Jewish. I had to come up with something that was neutral. What did I decide to do? I decided, since they had spent time at the beginning of the month learning about holiday traditions in various countries, to play BINGO. Instead of the word BINGO across the top of the board, I looked for a five letter word that was holiday geared. LIGHT! That is what I came up with because think of all the country’s holiday traditions – and all the religions of the world whose traditions – involve light.
Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus. This birth of the King was announced by a star in the sky – a light. Judaism celebrates Hanukkah – the time when there was not enough oil for the light in the temple yet the lights burned for eight days. Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration that celebrates family, community and culture. The Mishumaa Saba are the seven candles where each signifies a different principle. Candles equal light.
When we look to European traditions, I remember studying the Feast of Saint Lucia when I was young. In Sweden, Saint Lucia visits children with a crown of candles on her head. Again, there is light in this tradition.
So as we journey slowly towards the shortest day of the calendar year, remember that light is important. Light is what we all celebrate this time of year. Light is what we all seek this time of year. We want the days to get longer, the sun to shine bright and longer. We want light.
This is a second post in a series of four dealing with my thoughts on the Advent season. This particular post was updated from one posted last year on http://www.sarahstanleyinspired.com.