Monday, December 23, 2013

Why We Need Holidays

A friend wrote on his Facebook page last month his displeasure about the lies surrounding the celebration of Thanksgiving. It's true that many of our holidays have evolved into someone our ancestors would never recognize. But I argue that we still need these holidays, whether we celebrate them in the original spirit or not.

When you break down the traditions and eliminate the commercialism, you are left with the truly necessary need to connect with each other. At some point, our ancestors may have sacrificed a great meal source or created a public display that honored their connection to their chosen deity, but all of that really is about connecting to each other. We need to feel less alone in this life; we need to feel that we have guides on our path; we need to know that others are guided in the same way.
Photo by Chris Kotsiopoulos,

If you don't understand what I mean, try stepping outside at night in some remote place where the moon, the planets and the stars are the only lights you see...

It's acceptable for us to feel that insignificant, as long as we sense an overarching architecture. It's less lonely when we realize there are others looking up and experiencing the same vastness - maybe even at the same time as us.

So, this year, as you juggle the stress, emotions and superficial qualities of the season, remember to look up at night and recall why you are sitting down to feast, why you are showering your loved ones with gifts, lighting candles or singing songs. Weave your thread in this vast tapestry with beautiful awareness.