There is a wee nip in the air* and along with long nights and short days what more reason is there to warm the cockles of your heart by reaching out to friends and family? Ahhhh, solstice and the celebration that observation and science finally won out over fear several thousand years ago. Well, at least it sort of did. At least we don’t live in fear that the gods are angry and may take the sun away completely from us. However, in true neurotic Tepary style, I have to constantly remind myself that it is okay to celebrate at this time of year. (See last year’s post.)Despite not being Christians, that we get to participate in many of the traditions of the season too. That these traditions are rooted in something much older than Christianity and they are part of our heritage and experience.
So off we went and got our tree last night. I’ve tried to convince Green that we shouldn’t call it a Christmas tree, but he just laughs. Yule tree isn’t exactly right either. I mean Yule was a pagan festival and we’re celebrating a seasonal reality. I tried to get Bean to say Solstice tree, but she wasn’t buying it either. However, I can explain to her why we bring evergreen and lights into the house; that we’re celebrating the return of longer days, the persistence of life in harsh climates, the prospect of new growth in the Spring and the warmth of friends and family that helps to sustain us.
After reading Dale’s piece again about Santa I’m feeling just dandy about indulging Bean the Santa fantasy. A little bit of make-believe that accompanies a general feeling of goodwill, reaching out to loved ones well I’m okay with that. I believe, that playing make-believe and using your imagination is an essential part of development. Along those lines, last week we took a little detour from our road trip and stopped by Williams, Arizona to board the Polar Express. It was fabulous to see how excited Bean was about Santa. Does the celebration of Solstice get a little lost behind Santa? For sure, but we have a few years for her to come to figure that out. Maybe not even that long as she asked me whether I was Santa the other day in response to my saying I had to get going on making gifts. No pumpkin, I’m not Santa. I didn’t go further than that. She isn’t yet four.
As we pass through this season of festivities I wish you and yours much joy whatever you believe.
*I did say wee, it is Tucson after all and it did get to eighty one degrees Farenheit today, but you know we have that crazy high diurnal temperature range thing going on. I’m sure it is twenty below at this time of the morning. Okay, maybe forty nine degrees.
ps. Kristin, In response to your comment our advent calendar is a store bought thing, but I’m digging what Portland Sunshine did, and I see no reason why it can’t be linked to Solstice or New Year rather than December 25th. Perhaps link it with light and plant growth. It could be activities as well as objects.