“I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.” -Ashley Tisdale
There are so many winter celebrations this time of year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, the winter solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just the New Year, there is plenty of joy to keep us engaged and happy during these long winter nights. We’ve often wondered if the evolution of winter holidays was to stave off the depression that comes with cold weather and darkness.
Here at Holistic Pain we strive to provide an alternative, or supplement, to traditional medical care. We help people living with the impact of chronic pain find other methods for relief. We believe that it is important to understand how our minds, bodies, and spirits are connected in ourselves and to those around us. For that reason we believe that there is no better time to spread the message of holistic care, whole body health, and the benefits of community.
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge
On December 21, the northern hemisphere experienced the winter solstice. Modern calendars classify this as the first day of winter, but that isn’t entirely true. It should really be considered Midwinter as it falls directly between the Fall and Spring equinoxes. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and cultures all over the world honored it by creating festivals aimed toward bringing back the sun. There are several archeological sites, such as Stonehenge and Newgrange that demonstrate the importance of the winter solstice to early agricultural societies. In fact, both structures still work to accurately pinpoint the exact moment of the solstice every year.
Tonight we celebrate Christmas Eve. Children all over the United States will set out cookies and milk for Santa Claus and go to sleep anxious for his overnight arrival and all of the gifts under the tree. For others, Christmas is about the spiritual story and the birth of Jesus. Many people will attend church services or masses to honor this religious tradition.
This is also the final day of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Jewish families celebrate the miraculous story of the Macabees when a one day supply of oil lasted for eight nights. Family and communal celebrations are common for Hanukkah and the most anticipated is the nightly lighting of the menorah which is intended to illuminate the house to passersby so everyone can be reminded of the miracle of the oil. Tonight, the eighth candle will be lit.
From everyone here at Holistic Pain, it is our sincerest wish that all people celebrate this holiday season with love, peace, and joy. May you have a beautiful celebration with your family or friends. Our hope for everyone is to find a healthy balance and be free from chronic pain.
If it’s Hanukkah or Kwanzaa
Solstice Harvest or December Twenty-fifth
Peace on earth to everyone
And abundance to everyone you’re with
–Blues Traveler “Christmas”
How will you celebrate Christmas tomorrow?
Image by Jamie in Bytown via Flickr