Of Magic Trees and Other Wonders
It's Christmas this week. You've probably noticed. Somebody you know has made cookies, or biscuits, or in my case, cookies and biscuits, which are a form of Appalachian quickbread (and she made them gluten-free so I could enjoy them, so I'm feeling pretty privileged). Somebody's decorated a tree, maybe you. There are twinkling lights and extra parcels and somebody, somewhere, is singing songs they don't usually sing any other time of the year. So there's celebrating going on.
Everybody likes something different about these midwinter festivities. For some, it's the food. Others love giving gifts. I get the feeling there are actually people around here who like those holiday-themed movies I try to stay away from. Some enjoy the music, others subject themselves to ballet, although they never darken the doors of these venues otherwise. Still others find their greatest amusement by going around irritating everybody else by quibbling about details and claiming to hate the season (while secretly stealing all the best candies from the assortment).
For me, it's the lights. I like the lights twinkling out of the darkness in between the snowflakes. I have lived in places where you were prone to see menorahs during this season, because Advent usually means Hannukah is near. I miss them, but any kind of lights will do. Lights in windows, lights along the street, even lighted polar bears and penguins, even when they're on the same lawn, making no sense but twinkling at us because, well, we need cheering up in the middle of winter.
Christmas may be many things to you, or it may be nothing. I hope it brings you joy. I hope people around you are not so busy wanting things for themselves that they forget to share with you the gift we all owe this season, even to strangers: kindness. I hope they are not too buried in their own favourite brand of beloved indulgence to remember that the essence of all this celebration is not how much we love ourselves, but how important it is to love each other, family and foreigner, friend and stranger.
As snow falls in the northern temperate zone, as the welcome rains fall in Polokwane, as the winds blow around the globe, let us pledge our love to Earth. As night falls on deserts and forests, villages and towns, cities where there is peace and cities where there is not peace, let us regard the lights of Christmas as a challenge: to shed what light we can, while we can.
This week, I'm going to leave it to you to find all the fun things in the issue. We've got stories and photos and a puzzle, jokes and music, cartoons and comics, lots of things to amuse, enlighten, and inspire. We can do both, you know: be serious in our love for the world, and laugh, joke around, and generally snark it up. Isn't that what h2g2's for?
A special thank you to all the contributors this week for making this a lovely holiday issue. May you and yours be blessed, and may the totemic animal of your choice bless your tree with its soothing presence.
|Quote of the Week:|
|Post Editor: This is nice, but where's the baby?|
Tavaron: It isn't born yet. They'll add it on the evening of the 24th.