There are all kinds of issues around being politically correct this time of year—do you say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, and are you horrible if you forget to mention Kwanzaa?  Let’s face it:  they are all festivals of light, centered around family and friends, with more or less religious backgrounds.  So does it matter what we say to one another?  I always say happy Winter Solstice–it is, after all, simply an event.  If it’s also a special day for you, that’s even better!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been missing daylight and sunshine for some time now, and I’m not particularly happy about how long it will be til they’re back.  So I’m glad to have a tree filled with lights that I can set to come on in the wee hours of the morning when I get up, as well as be on when I get home to give the living room a warm glow.  I’m grateful for fireplaces and candlelight as well.  Don’t you suppose it’s a simple human thing, looking for light this time of year?

My early morning walks are quiet now—birds and squirrels aren’t up yet.  It feels very different from walking in the summer, when the light is grey and the air is filled with bird twitterings.  The quiet feels right for now, and is a welcome part of my day.  When was the last time you were in the quiet, on purpose, and really listened?  I think that all the holidays and festivals of this time of year actually ask one to celebrate that:  the quiet, the listening.  It’s a shame it’s so easy to lose in the hustle and noise.

And of course, today marks the beginning of a new age according to the Mayan calendar.  A time of community and gathering, of less focus on the individual.  Keep that in your heart as you spend time in quiet today…..

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Tai Chi Chuh

Start the year out right:  if you’ve ever considered learning this ancient form of movement, now’s the time.  Siobhan Hutchinson is offering a free beginner class on Saturday, January 26th from 10:30 am-noon.  The usual 8 week series will follow that, with an advanced class at 9am and a beginner class at 10:30 am on Saturdays.  If you sign up and pay by 1/26/13, you save $25!  Please contact Siobhan directly to register and for more information:  609-752-1048 or Siobhan@nextstepstrategiellc.com.

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Happy Holidays to you, from all of us at MIB!