We don’t have enough holy days in our lives. By that I mean special days. Days for the spiritualist, the secularist, the atheist, the wisest, and the busiest – especially the busiest.
There was a time when I held sacrosanct the wonderful days from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. I was a child in a candy store, having been given a cornucopia to fill with all that I could gather. That is not to say that the spiritual was lost on me. I should however add that I loved receiving gifts more than the buying; but the pageantry I met head on and gave what I could to fill the world with joy: the lights, the wonderful music, the tree and all the ornaments.
New Year’s offered a type of start over met first with a celebration for what had passed. A time to join with friends and family and celebrate being alive and able to make choices in the freedom of where we were born; choices specifically for us and our wellbeing.
I lost that connection along the way. Anyone who has been alive for forty years or more will know what I mean. That is not to belittle or take away from youth. Some things take time to ferment properly. I would not be so naive as to call it wisdom. Nor would I allow cynicism to mark the passage. Complacency, redundancy, consumerism, skepticism, a marching band of other words can easily be contrived to reason away the attachment to those holy days. All are fill ins for betrayal to self.
The self needs a sense of wonder and delight. It begs for an attachment to more than the demands that life requires in this busy new age. Every dollar we earn has a place to go, a need to fill, a toll to allow us to continue another day. I don’t know if this will ever change, or if some other way is far better than the present design.
I have learned that holy days are essential. Your birthday should be special, the birth of a new family member, a wedding day, a day to mark an anniversary, the day you get a new dog or cat, the day you move to a new job, a new city or a new place to live, a new friend, the finding once again of an old friend. Weekends are sacred. They allow family and friends to catch up, share and celebrate.
My special moments usually involve song and spirit – yes both kinds.
For this special moment in time’s ephemeral grasp we, as a people, still observe the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s as the holidays. It matters not your beliefs or what you call those days. They are holy. And holy is nothing more than sacred. Sacred is nothing more than precious. It is up to you and me to keep them precious by whatever means we can. Yes, life most go on in the midst of these sacred days; alas, I beg you, no matter what the demand or your situation, keep them sacred, or they will be lost forever, and we will be left with a wet Monday morning where a flat tire and a yellow lay-off notice is the best we can expect.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and to my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah. I’m sure there are many others, to those as well.