Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Diwali, Happy Eid (some years!), Blessings of the Yuletide be upon you. Oh, and Happy Holidays.
There are a lot of words we can say to each other over the course of this dark winter season, I know that bothers some people but I say the more the merrier. Any chance to share words of kindness, to wish good things for other people, is a good thing. I don’t have to share a person’s faith the share their good intentions and I love this season for the way it breaks down barriers and gives us the chance to connect to strangers all around us.
I remember distinctly being in Nepal for Diwali, the festival of lights. Every door way was surrounded by fairy lights and the world seem lit up by colour and magic. I remember watching a woman making a sand mandala on her front door step, she looked up and smiled at me with warmth and connection. I didn’t know the history of why she was doing what she was doing but I understood it none the less. She was celebrating life, making the world a little more beautiful, creating art right there at the front of her house.
I do believe that there are more things that connect us than divide us, when we really look. We all want good things for the people we love, we all want peace and prosperity for ourselves. These are good things to want, we are not selfish to want them. The selfishness comes when we seek to deny these things for others, or switch off our compassion for those in need.
So while I don’t share the faith that sits behind the Christmas celebrations, I can certainly share the intentions behind the words we hear all around us at this time of year. When someone says Merry Christmas to me, whether it’s an automated response or a sincere and heartfelt wish, I know what is truly meant by those words. It is the same as any celebration, of any religion, of people around the world.
They mean stay safe, stay warm; I hope you are loved, I hope you are happy.
To those of us lucky enough to experience safety, family love and peace at this time of year we can rejoice in our good fortune. We can donate money, time or goods to those who are less fortunate and we can use our words and gestures to remind all around us that most people are good people. Most of us want peace, most of us want to give love and receive it in return. It’s pretty simple.
So whatever beliefs sit inside your heart, whatever this season means to you whether it’s a time of faith or simply a time to be off work with family, I wish you only the best. Stay safe, stay warm. I hope you are loved, I hope you are happy.
Blessings of the Yuletide from our family to yours xxxx