Winter solstice occurred yesterday, Thursday, at 12:30 a.m., Eastern time.
Yesterday I engaged in, overheard, and (thanks to social media) read quite a few conversations regarding holiday tradition.
The call to remember your "reason for the season" has been a softly pleading voice for years, but I think this year may have been the biggest backlash against black Friday and holiday gluttony I have witnessed so far. I'm happy to believe it's because a conversation has escalated that does more than demand answers about the distribution of wealth and access to opportunity in this country, it demands we ask ourselves about our personal choices. Do they reflect what we want to see in our country...in our children?
People are asking what the holiday really means to them. Many are not in the faith they grew up with, or have found meaning and purpose without religion. Parents are questioning the customs of their childhood...which to keep, which to leave behind. That's a lot to chew on at a time of celebration.
What the Solstice reminded me of is this: Science may offer an undeniable unifying element. We are all finding joy in the darkest days of our year. We are anticipating the return of the light. It's at this time that we depend on sharing, giving, and lifting each other's spirits. Family history and faith find their home here. Finding common ground does not mean leaving behind your faith, and you don't need to believe in anything other than humanity to celebrate.