With the metaphorical lighting of St. Lucias' wreath of candles, the first candle of the Menorah and Mishumaa Saba a certain spark within the soul is lit. Religious or not, the holidays evoke a certain sort of magic within.
As one grows older sentimentality begins to sneak her way in the vast field of emotions. And though I've seen the Nutcracker Ballet over twenty times, the dance of the peacock will never cease to send chills down my spine (or make me yearn for her plume bestrewen costume!) and the dance of the Sugar plum faeries will unfailingly usher me to a world enchanted. Story time with Charles Dickens and spicy hot toddies by the fire, annual traditions in fancy holiday dresses, the pure hustle and bustle and the feeling of finding the perfect tree (one year my mother and I decorated 3, without finding the perfect one until the end. We gave the others to family members and friends. We somehow managed to do this without telling my step father or little sister, in fear of them thinking us to be insane. Now, who would think that?). And though I do not agree with all of the Catholic Church's orthodox & tendencies I find it enlightening to search for universal truths in biblical, as well as other, texts and stories. As a young girl my family and I attended Sunday mass at a Catholic church somewhat regularly (my mother and I also visited a Unitarian church which I enjoyed quite a bit). You see, my sweet Italian grandfather was raised in a Catholic family and knowing how important it is to him to attend mass as a family we joined him at half past nine many Sundays (though he'd never hold it as obligatory; he is one of the most utterly kind hearted and gentile people I know). My mother recognized that this orthodox is not the only way of thinking and lightly bestowed this knowledge upon me giving me a very broad and accepting up bringing. Internally I grew up with a sense of deeper knowledge of the subject with room to form my own opinions while still maintaining tradition. So instead of disbelief or backlash I listened closely to the stories; finding the messages for myself until I was mature and educated enough to for my own Truth.
One of the most universal and magical themes is one laced throughout the bible and many other sacred texts. A message reminding us that the sacred is within us, "The kingdom of god is within you" (Luke 17:21). Reminding us to respect and honor all that is living as we are all a direct representation of the divine.
may your winter be filled with wonder and enchantment! xo