Strangely enough, I love this time of year. Even though it is the darkest time of year. About now, the magic starts to happen. On Wednesday, there was a Tree Lighting at the Space Needle. It was a kick-off to a charity event. They’ve never had a tree in front of the Space Needle before, although it seems like a good idea. I went to the lighting, and had some hot spiced cider and cookies.
I’m watching as slowly a lot of trees around the downtown area are starting to sport fairy lights. You know it’s coming when you see the man-lifts in the plaza. Soon the downtown will sparkle. We know how it’s done, but it’s still magic.
I saw them measuring for the train at Seattle Center. It’s a big O scale train that runs around a Christmas village. They let kids run it a couple of times around, (with adult supervision). There will be a carousel at Westlake Park and one near the seasonal ice rink at Seattle Center. It’s all old hat to me, but I still love it.
None of the folks I run around with are the type who have the money to spend big for the season, whether they call it Christmas or Yule. And I think a lot more folks are in the same boat this year. But it’s time to make cookies, and other goodies to give away. Time for crafts projects for gifts. The Pagan group I was involved with had a White Elephant gift exchange every Yule. We played a game where the gifts were numbered, and the first would open their gift. Then #2 could take it, or open their own gift. Number 3 could take either of the gifts, or open their own, and so on. It was hilarious to see, for instance, some big guy holding a harem costume (really happened one year). Of course, there is always (or almost always) someone who wants what you don’t, so it works out.
So, I’ve got to get busy. I’m want to make a photo quilt and a DVD for my Dad. Video takes forever, professionals figure 1 hour per minute of video. It takes me much longer. So I need to get on that. I’ve already spent some time on it, thankfully. On then to the cookies. And a few other crafty projects. Crocheted hats, anyone?
And Christmas music, I love Christmas music. I know, a Pagan who loves Christmas music. Not the contemporary, secular stuff, either. I like Renaissance music. And carols. I have a rather large collection, thanks to the Internet and Seattle Public Library.
To me, I guess the magic is that at the darkest time of year, there are lights everywhere. At the coldest time of year, people reach out. That we gather with family and friends. That we are reminded to love one another.
It occurs to me that all this is coming at summer solstice Down Under. I’d like to know what it means to you. And how do you get through the winter without a holiday to celebrate the return of the light? Because even if you are a Christian, the birth of Christ symbolizes the return of the light. Strange thoughts on a sunny morning in mid-November Seattle.