I have a new favorite Christmas song – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen sung by Annie Lennox. It is a dark and moody rendition that plays up the minor key and the darkness of some of the lyrics. The video is perfection – atmospheric and haunting. It reminds me that the frantic cheer and holiday glitz is a recent addition to the Christmas season.
I like Christmas, I really do, but I hate the commercialism and the forced cheer. I don't do well with forced cheer and in this, the darkest time of the year, it seems wrong. This is a time to rage against the dying of the light. The days are short and the view out my window is rather bleak and grey. The sun is going away and who knows if it will ever be back?
Our ancestors knew that this was a time to gather together. To light fires against the dark (and remind the sun it has a job to do) and celebrate that the supplies will last till spring. Bring inside anything green you can find to remind yourself that life lays under the snow. Celebrate the life that is hidden away and shelter the spark of life and light in every heart and home.
This is a time of hope for spring and renewal and rebirth. It is a time to huddle together against the cold and darkness. Spring is just under the snow and life and the sun will soon return to Earth.
The shortest day of the year is almost upon us. Clear away your darkness and prepare for the returning of the Light!
John Michael Thornton