Remembering The Real Reason For The Season Today
Today is the shortest day and tonight is the shortest night of the year. Tomorrow we will see (but probably not notice) a slight increase in daylight, which will continue to increase until after the summer solstice.
Christmas Reenactments/Solstice Presentations
Last week I was watching my youngest in his kindergarten winter/holiday performance. It was unusual. There was a big Christmas tree with presents on the side of the stage. But the performance was a compilation of nursery rhymes. The only Christmas-related idea in it was the starring role of the Gingerbread Man and his place as the thread of the story. The narration between each song linked the various nursery rhymes into a telling of the Gingerbread Man’s journey and his eventual learning to trust others and make friends. Yes, it had a happy ending and nobody ate him. =)
It’s my understanding that nursery rhymes are more educational for young children than Christmas songs. Just their repetition alone helps children understand language. Thinking of all this–the choice of the kindergarten teachers to do such a non-traditional winter performance–got me thinking about the educational value of performances and reenactments in general. And that got me thinking about the reenactment of the Christian Christmas story that is a tradition for many families. My family usually did it when I was a child. And my own children have usually participated in a reading of the Christmas story at my in-law’s Christmas Eve celebration (until last year, when thankfully, someone most have woken up to the fact that 3 out of 6 siblings in that family is either atheist or agnostic–we now invite the grandkids to do a talent show, instead).
The result of all this train-of-thought thinking while the cute little Gingerbread Man ran around the stage and my son-playing-a-spider made cute faces at me was an idea to write a simple presentation of the Winter Solstice as a symbol of light and hope and the source for all the light-celebrating holidays, including our own Christmas. It would include a mention (and maybe visuals?) of all the sun gods (including Jesus) over the course of human history. It would also explain the reasons for our current traditions that have pagan beginnings.
Does anyone want to contribute facts/resources, especially online links? Ideas? Please share by leaving a comment. Maybe I will be able to put something together before next year’s season returns–unless you know of something like this that already exists…?