Merry Christmas to Everyone! Even if Christmas is not your particular holiday. After all, so many of my Jewish friends have celebrated Christmas through the years. It’s become rather secular, don’t you think? And I think that’s pretty amazing. Because this season is all about hope and looking to the light and putting aside our differences. It’s why I love Yule and Solstice so much. The longest night of the year and shortest day, where the Holly Kind and the Oak King “battle” and the Oak King takes his place as temporary ruler of the Wheel of the Year. In other words, new beginnings, new life, as the Winter Heart begins to melt and usher in Spring once more. Happy Bodhi Day, the day Buddhists recall when the Buddha attained enlightenment.Happy Kwanzaa—and I do believe this is the fiftieth anniversary of that African American holiday! According to its creator, the word Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits of the harvest,” which follows that very theme I’m talking about. Newness and beginnings. Happy Hanukkah, as well! A Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, it is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. New beginnings! I think I would be remiss, considering my new holiday book, not to say Mele Kalikimaka, and Peni—from my Season of Love series—told me I must say, “Manuia le Kerisimasi.” That’s how they say Merry Christmas in Samoa. Whatever the words or language or belief, I hope that you do believe in love. Because that’s what it’s all about. Even in the way this year has ended, and no matter the setbacks, remember that Love Wins! In the end, Love always Wins!
B.G. “Ben” Thomas