This time of year, the trees are bare. The flowers are gone. The wind is cold. The darkness is at its longest. Human traditions bring light into darkness, warmth into coldness, by making this the holiday season. Traditions vary across cultures, religions, and historical times. They include Christmas, solstice, Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, Chalica, Boxing Day, St. Lucia's Day, Three Kings Day, Saturnalia, and New Year's Day. Traditions at this time of year fill the darkness and cold with warmth, light, family, fellowship, love, peace, spirituality, mystery, new birth, new beginnings.
I like the evergreens, the lights, the music. For me, it's a time to renew connections. I spend time with family. By sending cards, I reach out to people I don't often see, maintaining a connection with them. It's a time to care for our fellow humans, by volunteering, giving to charity, and being kind to strangers.
It all goes by so fast though. I'm off work for two weeks in late December. That's the time for spending with family. But the time before that, the first three weeks of December, that's the time for going to concerts, singing, and preparing gifts and cards. I never seem to have enough time for that part. But now, I have two days before I go to visit my family. I'd better get going on those holiday cards.