Write2Day–Presents versus Presence

Many of us are preparing to celebrate the holidays, each in his or her own way. Winter Solstice is the 22nd (0530 U.T.), reminding us of the play of light and darkness, this being the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The holiday I celebrate is Christmas, the birth of Christ, even though we have no evidence as to when Jesus was actually born. The early Church took the prevailing festival of Saturn and adopted December 25th, the date midpoint in the event, in an attempt to incorporate the cultural traditions in which it found itself into its liturgical calendar.

Our world view has evolved, in part, thanks to the interconnectedness created by our Internet communities. We have become so much more aware of other traditions and thus attempt to become more inclusive. For me, this underlines how much we are alike, rather than emphasizing differences. In my lifetime experience, Christmas has become more secularized/commercialized and, for many, has lost its spiritual significance. Yet common themes of light, love, and giving remain important.

This week I was struck by a poem written by fellow blogger, Charles Mashburn. Without going into the poem itself, (I hope you will check it out) the message that struck me was the idea of Presence vs. Presents. As my own faith has matured, I see Christmas as a celebration of God, however God shows up in our lives: Presence. At the same time, I enjoy the anticipation of a child as I eye the Presents waiting under the tree and as I try to choose things that will please those I love. It’s all about giving, and receiving Love.

So, for this week’s prompt, I invite you to share your point of view about the holidays. And don’t be surprised if we encounter one or more common denominators. 

To participate:

  • Write an essay, short story or poem and post it to your blog.
  • Copy the URL and your Name into the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Take a few moments to read other bloggers and comment on their work.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, Holidays!

Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Write Light!

Photo: V. Ceretto-Slotto

For our Monday Morning Writing Prompt, I suggest that you play with the theme of light and darkness. Around the world, people of different religious and cultural backgrounds are celebrating festivals concerned with bringing light into the darkness of winter.  Consider just a few of these: Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Winter Solstice…and so many more. If you like, please share your poem, short story or essay by adding a link in comments. Here’s mine (a rough draft):

Darkness is Only a Degree of Light

When the year is at its nadir
and darkness overtakes
the light, someone,
lights a

The flame eases into your
consciousness and
you understand
that we were
to see.

Join with all the children of
Earth. Revel in your need
to join in celebration.
Now’s the moment
to set the world
on fire.

I’m adding a link to a couple of websites that discuss many different celebrations of light:

http://www.everythingesl.net/lessons/light_festivals.php    http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_other.htm