Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Stories We Tell at This Time of Year

There are so many holidays we celebrate at this time of year: days when the nights are long in the northern hemisphere where most of our American ancestors and traditions come from.  Days when crops don't grow, and we're halfway out of the dark, looking forward to the spring and new life.  Days when we're surviving on what we have, calculating what's left, and we need a break from the oppressive lack of light and hope with a rollicking good time.  It's no surprise that historically we've had some of the biggest celebrations in major cultures though out history placed around the time of the winter solstice.

This is a video from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Fe, it features two parts of our service from two weeks ago: the children's story, which involves a story about the history of the Christmas wreath, and a lecture by Fred Edwords, the national director of the United Coalition of Reason and the director of planned giving for the American Humanist Association, on the history and scope of "holiday" celebrations, bot religious and secular.  The lecture is an excellent look at the history of celebrations throughout the calendar year and their religious and secular connections.

We are a species that needs these kind of celebrations, for whatever reason we celebrate, and tend to adopt and adapt the celebrations of other cultures to fill that need.