The Jewish folk celebrate the Festival of Lights. I am not well educated on the customs and traditions of this time. I'm notorious at "borrowing," traditions from any and all sources that bring me pleasure and adding them to my own.
"The Festival of Lights" for me is Christmas time. Lights appear all along. They show up on houses, businesses, and even on apartment patios. The long darkness of winter is enriched by the beautiful lights.
Christmas when we celebrate the sacred, much prophesied birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Great I Am and the Great and Morning Star. All are names that are ascribed to Jesus of Nazurus before his birth and after.
Anyone scqueamish about the whole "Christian" part of Christmas I don't want to offend a single one of you. So you may approach this post from a rational vantage point, "What does this writer think?"
I think that at Christmas time a good many people are softened towards, "Peace on earth good will towards men." I think there is more kindness, more tapping in to the desire to love and be loved.
Oh I know the statistics that negatively show all the depression and suicides at this season. It's AWFUL and HARD to be alone. Especially when depression lies and tells you that you're a burden.
A lesson I've learned along the way. When I'm feeling alone, REACH OUT! Find a loving friend that will listen to all of it, the good, bad, the somewhere in between. They will then lovingly forget the really bad, (or get you professional help) and see the beauty that lies within the human soul, and love you.
Or maybe it's time for you to go to a homeless shelter, and clean, or serve meals. I guarantee you that your troubles will seem far smaller when compared to families that have no where to go for Christmas. Or Vets who have come home battle damaged and unable to function in our day to day world.
So, again it sounds like I am preaching, lecturing. If I am it's to myself. I know this Christmas close up front and personally how hard Christmas is when you've lost your beloved spouse. The lights don't even seem bright enough to dim the missing of him.
Yet, I will take hope in the eternal message of Christmas. "God so Loved the World that he gave His Only Begotten Son...that whoso liveth and believeth in Him SHOULD NOT PERISH." I know that my beloved still lives and that one wonderful day we will be together again. I will challenge myself to remember that message in this season when I miss Nyle the grandest celebrator I've ever met.
One last thought. Nyle played the Ghost of Christmas Present at the Hale Center Theater in Orem for several years. He was the oh so jolly embodiment or eSPIRITment of the joy, lights, and loveliness of Christmas. Yet he was also the reminder of Scrooge's selfishness. As he lifted his robe and showed two small children cowering together he would say, "These are Man's." Suddenly he changes from the jolly, laugh from the belly spirit to the calling to repentance spirit. He reminds Scrooge of his former words towards the dross of humanity, "Are there no prisons are there no workhouses?"
At THIS Christmas my beloved Ghost of Christmas Present would wish for myself and our girls the happiest of Christmases (that's how they say it in England Happy Christmas, not Merry Christmas....since The Christmas Carol is from England I thought I'd stick to that idea). In addition he would wish that anyone that reads my rants and raves would also have the Happiest of Christmases. Remember the greatest gift of all, "God so loved the world (that's all of us) that He gave His only begotten Son."