What is the winter holiday season like for you? Do you look forward to it, is it a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends and loved ones, drink egg nog and eat fruitcake? Or is it a time you dread, or just barely get through?
December can be a difficult month for Ethical Culturists/Humanists. We are inundated with messages of Christmas and people who think that including Chanukah symbols makes it ok. There is the whole issue of displays of religious scenes and symbols on public land.
Many of us have to deal with family get-togethers that can prove difficult. Some of us feel alone while those around us are making merry. We might be missing loved ones who have died, or friends who live far away. Hearing Christmas carols everywhere you go might really get on your nerves.
Yet we also get to celebrate the Winter Solstice, knowing we've come to the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when we'll start having more hours of daylight and preparing for a new year.
How can we find ways to make this month our own while respecting the traditions that are important to others? How do you celebrate winter?
Hugh Taft-Morales has shared his Platform "Spirit of Giving," originally presented at the Baltimore Ethical Society, I was moved reading about some of his family experiences and also about some of the practices adopted by members of a variety of Ethical Societies.
Sally Reichart shares the program of the Princeton (NJ) Humanist Fellowship Winter Solstice Celebration in 2009. This program has much historical content about solstice observations, as well as words and links to some of the music they shared. My favorite line from reading this program is "Remember, you don't have to believe the words to enjoy the music!" Both pieces are included in their entirery below.
What are your plans for the solstice, the holiday season? Will you be watching the lunar eclispe? Will you have a chance to sing?
Please join us for our call on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at noon PT, 1pm MT, 2 pm CT, 3 pm ET. The number to join the call is toll-free - 866-740-1260 and the access code is 5766842#. Please invite anyone who might be intersted in this topic to join us for our conversation which will last about an hour. For satety reasons, we ask that people on our call not operate a motor vehicle while participating in the call.