Have I mentioned I’m a Unitarian? With a largely Jewish family? No? Okay. So I am. Which makes the holiday card thing a bit of a conundrum. I got a groupon to order ours through Mixbook, and they let you customize the quotations, so I’m trying to pick an appropriate saying for the holiday season to put on the back of a card. (It will say either Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings on the front.)
I want a saying that is holiday-y but more solstice-y (eg it is winter but spring comes again and this is a time for renewal; it is dark out but it will be light again; winter is a time for reflection and growth) than Christmas-y. I have found the following candidates:
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
Anne Bradstreet” (Especially fitting for this year, I think.)
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. – Dr. Seuss” (I know. It mentions Christmas. But I LOVE Dr. Suess.)
“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home. -W.J. Ronald Tucker” (I know. It mentions Christmas. But in a nutshell, this is why I, as a Unitarian, celebrate Christmas.)
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” –Agnes M. Pharo
“Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider.”
– Yule Lore
“I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.”
Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing
Any thoughts, suggestions, or votes?