"In ancient times, as the days grew shorter and darker, people became increasingly anxious and depressed, fearing that the sun was dying. Without the sun, whom they worshipped as a god, people knew they would perish. In order to coax back the source of their warmth, light, and abundance they created midwinter rituals, culminating in a great festival at Winter Solstice, on or about December 21-22, the longest day of the year. The women would gather greenery to decorate dwellings and prepare elaborate communal feasts. The men would light huge bonfires; in the bright glow of the flames representing the energy of the sun, they would hold revels with music and dance.
Today, celebrating the Winter Solstice is becoming very popular. For people who don't feel comfortable with organized religion or even exploring an individual spiritual path, honoring the festivals of the natural world fulfills a deep, primordial need to connect with a power greater than humanity, no matter what the power is called. Women reviving the ancient feminine traditions celebrate the Solstice as the birthday of the Great Mother. Ecology-minded people, such as many Native Americans, honor the sacredness of their connection with the Earth. Women who have interfaith marriages and can't make a choice between celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas often view the Winter Solstice as a neutral holiday the whole family can celebrate."
I didn't realize there was such tradition behind putting up holiday lights. And the Solstice is happening right now! We are currently experiecing the longest day of the year. What better day to get everything done? I am personally kind of renewed by this...
And of course, reminded of the "The light and life of the world" as we draw near to celebrating his birth. How grateful I am for his love and sacrifice.