Mid Winter Festivals
Each year the nights darken and each year major religions celebrate. Here in the villages we celebrate a festival which is a mixture of:-
old pagan mid winter Yule
a rework of Saint Niklaus morphed into Santa Klaus or Father Christmas complete with sleighs and bells
the nativity story which is the story of the birth of Jesus.
What all these traditions tell us is that we are human, part of the human race, part of a local community, connected by stories or religion and all need hope for the coming back of the light. We also need company at this time of year. It’s a time for giving presents to friends and families but also to strangers through shoe boxes, charities or by volunteering e.g. carol singing, Scout Christmas post or helping with Christmas Meals. The Christian view that” it is in giving that we receive” is one that many people know to be true, whether church goers or not. The best Christmases are the ones where we feel the warmth of love from other humans within our families and without.
For those in a Celtic church there is no need for the phrase “so many sleeps till Christmas”. Nor is there any confusion between the Christian Christmas and Father Christmas because for the Celt EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS.
Early Christians didn’t worry about the birth of Christ until after His Death and resurrection, until they had understood the Gospels and then they knew that a circle had occurred. Without the birth there could have been no Son of God to die and without the death of the Son of God there would have been no saving us from sins and once saved from sins, if we choose to follow Jesus as Christians, we become interested in the birth and so it goes on. Or round. For the Celt every day is Christmas because without remembering His arrival on earth we wouldn’t be able to tell the rest of the story and we know the best way to receive is to give, just as Jesus did when he started the circle at his birth.
Have a wonderful Christmas giving to others and waiting for The Light to return.