Growing up, my family celebrated Kwanzaa, not Christmas, so I generally feel like an impostor when the wreaths and red ribbons start appearing in our neighborhood grocery stores. My eyes fix on the tempting displays of “stocking stuffers“, on the glossy, classically-colored covers of Martha Stewart magazine, on the Trees of Boston calendar I consider each year but never purchase -yet I understand it’s not quite Christmas I seek to experience. It’s marking the season; collecting the still-green elements of the natural world into my home, as well as gathering tokens of affection for family and friends.
Compromise (the “spice” of adulthood) is -for me- dipping into the decorating (holiday cards posted over the entry to our kitchen, a handmade ornament dangling from the maw of the wooden cod centerpiece in our living room), celebrating the holiday with my partner’s family, dancing to Ziggy Marley with my nephew, and many moments breathing in the not-quite-cold-enough winter air while watching the sun play at the edges of everything natural. Compromise, for me, is recognizing and graciously accepting what modern American Christmas offers –boundless opportunity– without buying into what our modern American (secular?) Christmas appears to prescribe (consumerism, tense family moments, traffic, sentimentality.)
And to you: happy holidays. Whichever you celebrate, however you celebrate, I wish you peace, love, growth, and happiness! Namaste.