For most of my life, my Holiday Season was centered around traditions that originated in the Anglican community. We celebrated Advent, then Christmas, and finally Epiphany. For forty years, beginning when I was 7 years old, I sang in an Episcopal Church choir and spent a good portion of my Christmas break in rehearsal and in church. The birth of Jesus was the reason for the season, and I never told my children there was a Santa Claus. The first gift they unwrapped was always the wooden Christ figure for the creche, in a golden box marked “Unto Us”. These traditions were rich, comforting, and firm. I think they provided many benefits to my four young children. As the children grew, our family made Christmas about broader values. We supported needy families, donated to organizations that contributed to world causes, and gave gifts that were homemade or from sustainable sources. As my children became young adults, we approached our holiday traditions with hard questions about life and meaning and community. What is truly holy and valuable to us? How do we celebrate the divine spark in all of life? Perhaps the most poignant question became “What is our family now that Dad has died?” Transitions are the hallmark of growth. Things that are growing change; living things evolve. There are Universal transitions that are holy. December 21 is the Winter Solstice, when the Earth is furthest from the Sun and daylight is at its ebb. This year, Saturn and Jupiter will align on that day. And three of my children will be living in Oregon with me. The list of transitions our family has braved over the last year is weighty. It includes several moves, relationship changes, and my mother’s death. In the midst of all these changes, we remember and celebrate the thing that makes a Holy Season: the invitation to Love and the recognition of divine presence in every living thing.
I’m sure that for many people around the world, this will be a Holiday Season that seems very unusual, perhaps quite unsettling. I wish us all the Peace of knowing that transition and change is intrinsic to Life. May we reach out in holy Love and celebrate the divine presence in all living things, expressing our gratitude and committing to doing good.
Our growing up was similar — several transitions, many traditions. But this year will also be a different year — finger foods eaten at a distance, or so it seems right now. Thanks for showing us your Christmases. And best wishes for happy holidays no matter how you celebrate.
Thank you. May you find joy in the present moment, whatever it looks like! ❤
It has been quite a year of change for you Priscilla – congratulations to you for coming through it with a smile in your heart. I am happy for you to be close to your daughters and wish you all a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with love.
Thank you, Tina. I wish you joy and peace and an abundance of love among those who are special to you. Thank you for modeling a way to connect through words and pictures with the Lens-Artists team.
Lovely pictures. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a better 2021.
Thanks. All the best to you and your Mother.
Reading your posts always give me the strong feeling of you being at the helm of your life. More than most people I know. Best wishes for a New and Better Year 2021. We will have to make it better ourselves.
Wow – that is a comment to ponder. “At the helm of my life.” I definitely agree that taking responsibility is supremely important. Let’s all be the change!
So nicely written, Priscilla, and the photos make your words come alive. Blessings to you and your family as you enjoy the holidays in ways that are both meaningful and safe.
Thank you, Pat. May you also have joy in these days.
The only certain thing is that nothing IS really certain. It’s been quite a year for you Priscilla. I wish you peace xx
Thank you, dear Helen. You are quite right!
Such a beautiful and thoughtful post, Priscilla, thank you for sharing. Wishing all the best to you and your family in 2021!
Thank you, Sylvia! May your new year be full of good things, too!