Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Message of Faith, No Matter What Yours Is

I was inspired by a POEST chat last night to do a little feature on various holy days in December, so for each of the ones I can think of you get an Etsy item. Voila. From each of these days I hope to give you a message of the holiday that you can take with you for whatever celebration you choose.

First, Kwanzaa. For this holiday I give you a listing from which I learned something new. The Sankofa symbol in the Akan language of Ghana symbolizes a word that means "return and take it," meaning that we should take from the past the wisdom of our elders and predecessors. Here's the listing, a cup with this symbol by Dovecote Design:

For Hanukkah I chose a breathtaking papercut by Jewish Papercuts that bears the words in Yiddish (I assume, please excuse my ignorance) Yehi Shalom: May there be peace in your dwelling. May there, indeed, be peace in yours.

There are a lot of people clamoring to "Put Christ back in Christmas" and I hope I will not risk offending anyone when I say this: Put "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men" back in Christmas. Anyway I adored this Christmas card from Sugar Tree Studio because of the peaceful image of the cardinal in the snowy tree, and the fact that you can add beautiful photos of your family to it, to send to everyone on your card list.

On December 22 the Hopi celebrate Soyaluna, which is a festival celebrating the return of the sun. It is also a time of saying prayers for the new year and wishing each other prosperity and Health. From Desert Rose Art Glass I present to you this lovely Kachina that seemed appropriate:

Solstice celebrations are almost as old as mankind, today celebrated by pagans, wiccans, Asatru, and countless others. From ancient solstice celebrations, and often from Yule in particular, nearly every holiday celebrated this month celebrates light in some manner. The tradition of the Yule log survived into Christmas celebrations and the meaning of burning this log all night long was hope: even in the darkest darkness there is light. Even if you don't have a fireplace you can adapt with this yule log candle holder by Cedar Candle Lights:

The fasting of Ramadan is (in part) to teach Muslims to remember the plight of those less fortunate, and in some places it is not unusual on Eid (the celebration at the end of the fast) to greet total strangers or give gifts to children you don't know. Arabic calligraphy is breathtaking and seems to lend itself to pictures... these earrings by Norouzi represent the word for peace, and resemble a dove:

Whatever your faith, I wish you peace, joy and love this holiday season, and upon all those you love.