I don’t know why I’ve always loved Christmas and all of its traditions so much.
Every other holiday, birthday, and memorial occasion never meant much to me. Until recently.
I’m a forward looking person, a believer in free will and the power to make any circumstances into something great. So the idea of special days never had much appeal. Why not make every day what you want it to be? Why be hemmed in by someone else’s calendar?
There’s something I still like about my instinctive lack of sentimentalist, but for the most part it has faded away.
Time has worn on and life has brought the concomitant pains and joys – births, deaths, big wins and tragic losses. Each cycle has further opened my eyes to the inescapable reality of the calendar and seasons, with their patterns and purpose. I’ve come to long for the changes in atmosphere, focus, and meaning throughout the year.
Diving into the celebrations of ancient cultures, and especially the ancient Christian church’s calendar of feasts has helped me appreciate the depth of these cycles and the power of embracing and connecting to them all, not just Christmas.
When you get acquainted with the Orthodox or Catholic calendar, you realize something: there are no “normal” days.
That’s when it hit me. The very idea that made me not care about holidays is the one that has these ancient Christians celebrating them constantly: Every day is the most important day of your life.
The difference is they ascribe unique kinds of importance to them on a consistent cadence, where I was sort of just letting it emerge or imposing whatever importance I wanted on each day.
The power of tapping into cosmic and historical realities around each day to focus its importance is immense.
Every day is part of history. Every day is connected to every other. The procession is holy and worthy of observance.
Bring on the feasts.