December: Family Rituals

“Whatever you believe,

whatever you do not,

there are sacred rites

you must perform

in dark December.”

These are the first lines from the poem, “In Dark December,” by Ralph Murre. What are your rites? Your family traditions and rituals? How can we slow the swift passage of this month without being lost in the whirl of shopping and event planning?

Ralph Murre suggests that you “pull together family and friends, cool cats and stray dogs alike. Turn off everything except colored lights, the roaster, the toaster, the stove.”

When you turn off everything, what does that mean? Alternatives to television, video games and those pesky iPhones could be board games, reading aloud (short stories are great!), family art night or putting together a jigsaw puzzle. How can you be occupied together?

“Reach so far

in your sharing

that you hold the sun

in one hand,

the stars in the other,

and no one between is hungry.”

How can you “reach so far in your sharing?” Bake cookies for your neighbors or make a batch of holiday cards. There are lots of local opportunities for volunteering your time. Check out to be of use for the day or on a weekly or monthly basis.

The Late Fall Session is wrapping up. In the remaining weeks, we’ll be decorating our masks and working on a community giving project.


Tanya & Wesley

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