I write on the very afternoon of the winter solstice: the earth now at the point where the northern hemisphere is at its furthest tilt from the sun. And so we celebrate the return of the light, for every day grows slightly longer now, even this day. Thus it has been for many thousands of years for us humans, a time for stories and feasting and the light and warmth of home and hearts made joyous by the love light shining.
I write a little early this year, for I know you are saddened by recent controversies in your name. There was a silly woman who insisted you are white, and an equally silly man who insisted that you don’t exist, and likely a few other gems I have overlooked. I don’t think you are white, for the books all say you are rosy. And of course, we know you exist, for we collectively imagine you into being every year, and millions of children await, and have awaited your generosity, and are better people for understanding generosity. We need you and your magic more than ever. Sigh. I think perhaps I have written those words before. Never mind, there are bound to be some repeats in all these years of letters to Santa.
Anyway, here is what I am asking for: a little more of ‘out of the ordinary’. There was a time before you, Santa, when it is said that Yule celebrations lasted for weeks and even months. Now it is mostly reduced to one day that is set aside from the ordinary. On that day we shine, oh, we shine – we love, and share, and feast, and tell stories, and mostly there are no hard words. But quickly the ordinary falls back into place, for these days the gods of commerce reign, and they are mostly angry white men who are pleased only when everybody is at work. We go back to work because we must – these are demanding gods – and somehow that shining spirit loses its lustre, and we forget how marvelous we can be. And we forget this is a season.
So please, a little more out of the ordinary, for the suffering folk that appease the gods. With, perhaps a merest sprinkling of tolerance, for is not the fact that we do not all celebrate in the same fashion delightful? Love and joy and sharing and feasting may be all we have in common, but are these not the most powerful commonalities? Truth be told, they are much more powerful than the angry gods of commerce, and for every day that we extend the season of joy, we diminish their rule.
I love you, Santa. I have tried to be kind and good, but the approval of the Enbridge pipeline may change that. Anyway, there are cookies for you here.
Blessings of the Solstice. Merry Christmas. God Jul. God Jol. Vrolijk Kerstfeest. Buon Natale. Maligayang Pasko. Joyeux Noël. Nadolig llawen. Boldog Karácsonyt.