November was a crazy month. The election happened, of course, with nonstop political news. And on a personal level it felt crazy as we prepared for my daughter’s wedding and tried to keep our balance when my daughter was hospitalized with a stomach bug and her fiancé lost his father in a work-related accident two weeks before their wedding.
Each of those things on their own produced stress. All of them together made stress-avoidance impossible.
But here we are in a new month. We’ve gone through illness, grief, and ended with celebration. My daughter and her new husband are on their honeymoon. The winter holidays are here.
As I think about why the winter holidays are so important in so many cultures, I consider how they bring light. Twinkling lights, fire light, the light on people’s faces when they gather for some good cheer. I saw a lot of that at my daughter’s wedding on Saturday as people gathered in candlelight on a snowy evening that honored new beginnings and commitment. The light we bring and the light we share keeps us going through all kinds of darkness, whether it’s the darkness of sad events or the darkness of winter.
And so, this week, I’m getting ready to string up holiday lights. I’m going to hold close the warmth of family and close friends with whom I’ve spent a lot of time over the past month. I’m going to celebrate the gifts of winter and the opportunity to share light whenever possible.