|holiday decorations, Christmas thoughts||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:38:46 -0700 (PDT)|
From Maraiah Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA. We put up a tree and decorate it, as well as putting up door wreaths and other decorations around the common house. Sometimes a lighted snowman on the porch. We have a party and a gift exchange. Sometimes we have a latke meal or other mealtime items around appropriate Jewish holidays, and we accept that about the same way a member might share something of their Hungarian heritage. We've had occasional observances around Solstices or May Day. I am unaware we have had any conflict around any such things. My personal take is that December decorating is not about imposing Christianity. I'm a pagan, goddess-invoking type. Haven't identified as Christian since my long-ago teen years. What works for me is the timeless and non-Christian-specific symbolism. In the cold winter, the evergreen stays green, symbolizing the continuity that is otherwise underground and out of sight. Trees have sacred symbolism in every religion I can think of. Holly and mistletoe symbolism dates way back in pre-Christian religions. It's dark outside, and we gather around light: campfires, twinkle lights, candles. We seek out warm companionship in parties and feasts and sharing gifts. We have an urge for this in cold dark times that's different from our summer picnics and outdoor celebrations. I wouldn't stand for people saying Christian prayers to start a meeting or meal. But trees and lights and gifts and feasts are a joy to me. Maraiah Lynn Nadeau (The white mini "Christmas" lights around the edges of the dining room ceiling are so enjoyed that we switched them to ones on white wires (walls are pale) and keep them up all year. They provide nice atmosphere for evening dances and parties.)
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