Notice how dark it’s gotten lately? It’s hard to miss when the lights come on in late afternoon! The winter solstice is coming and with it the celebration signaling the shortest day has arrived. Weeks before we start thinking of turning over a new leaf, the days slowly get longer again through the long, cold winter. Now is the time to surround yourself with who and what comforts you, light all the lights, and bring in what is fresh and evergreen from your surroundings.
Our family selects a Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We start out thinking we will consider all types of trees. Invariably we choose the classic balsam fir for its scent and branching pattern, which creates the optimum spacing for our ornament collection. To this day the family ritual of selecting the tree retains its wonder, with our adult son still part of the process whenever he can. But family life is often hectic and there are times when the wonder is short-lived, replaced by the pressure of year-end demands. This time around, it was just my husband and I on our own for the selection process.
The mythology of Christmas tree selection can be a strong thread in families, often spoken of with reverence by those who are convinced that their family way holds the best magic. Perhaps it is the charmed selection process that protects the family as they admire the glowing tree, making a sheltered haven among the evergreen branches. In the cold night of another season of snow what more can we do but each of us provide our family with the best talisman of hope in the winter dark?
Wishing you all love and joy in this festive season!