Even though we’re minimalists, and eschew rampant consumerism as a core problem facing modern humanity, the fact is we love the holidays. We love what it truly represents.
The deep and mystical human meaning of the season revolves around the compelling story of a birth of a sun god. This myth has been borrowed and recycled throughout human history with the current dominant narrative being Christianity’s rendering of it. However, every human culture, current and ancient, voices their own unique version of the story. All accounts of the tale are valid for the message is basically same.
It makes sense to celebrate the birth of a sun god on the first day of winter, the shortest day of the northern hemisphere. When else could 'the Sun' be born and be a babe, but when it is least formidable. This belies the true meaning of the season; that even in the bitter frost and despairing darkness of winter there is birth of bounty and light. The biting cold is but a temporary state. Soon enough the baby sun will grow up, become more powerful, and bring back Spring and Summer.
So how do you survive wintertide? Stay warm, snuggle up to a roaring fire, and throw a birthday party for the baby sun from your Autumn harvest. Perhaps this is why ancient human cultures, such as the Celts, celebrated yuletide with 12 days of feasting. As it turns out, fall harvest ferments such as cider and mead, sausage, and other forage were ready right around the first day of winter. How about that for good timing?
The realization of the holidays is to create a bounty of joy, laughter, and peace. To be unafraid, let go, and untether from assumptions. To unclutter your mind from worry, so you can focus on the merry work of spreading cheer in your own inimitable style, whether boisterous or emanating inner calm; all that matters is that you are creating more with less.
Or you could just buy another trinket..,
May peace and culture be with you. Happy Holidays!
Picture taken by Jay Yoo at the E. 55th Marina in CLE, USA.