This is such a wonderful time of the year. The Wheel turns and autumn gives way to winter. As much as I love autumn, I do love winter. There is a refreshing that comes with the colder temps. The leaves fall from the trees knowing that they will bring the coming again of spring in just a few short months.
I must admit, though, there are things about this season that get under my skin. So many people celebrate holidays. It's not just about Christmas. It's about Yule, Hanukkah, and others. We all celebrate our own way. And even though I would never deny anyone their holiday, I end up being so frustrated at those who do. Why can we not acknowledge all peoples of faith with a simple "Happy Holidays?" Why is that greeting so horrible? I don't understand. Why can I not wish you a Merry Yule when you wish me Merry Christmas? People get seriously bent out of shape over it, truly.
For those who believe in Jesus, He came to show us the way of giving. For those of us who follow pagan gods, they showed us to honor the earth and creation. For those of Jewish faith, the holiday shows us the miracles available to those who believe.
I think many of us have forgotten the idea of it all. Whether it's Yule or Christmas or Hanukkah...no matter. What is important is the idea of generosity and charity,. Instead of piling up gifts, why not take time to serve at a homeless shelter? What a wonderful way to teach children the necessity of giving and gratitude! Why not foster a dog or cat in a shelter over the holiday so it knows the warmth of human companionship? Why not put together a simple bag of necessary items like toothbrushes, paste, deoderant, snacks, etc. for a homeless person you drive by every day? Why not simply be a light to everyone you meet?
There are so many ways to celebrate that bring us back to the original idea of holidays: to serve those less fortunate than ourselves and be thankful for all with which we've been blessed. Let's use this year's holiday to serve others in a tangible way.