A friend sent me a message reminding me there are no less than seven named holidays at this time of the year. I needed reminding because being a Westerner I sometimes forget the west isn’t the center of the universe. As T. S. Elliot pointed out many years ago, there is no center and never was.
Many people in Northern Europe and much of the rest of the west follow the sun and celebrate holidays associated with the winter solstice.
In northern places where the days grow shorter in winter, people tied to the old agrarian ways became fearful that the sun would completely disappear.
Our ancestors carried on a great festival called Yule that involved banging drums and lighting bonfires to scare the darkness away.
Some think Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus as we know him is derived from to the sky god Thor, for whom Thursday is named. When I was a little girl, Nana told me Thor drove his ‘sled’ through the sky, pulled by reindeer two of them named Donder (thunder) and Blitzen (lightening).
Later, when we lived in Texas and it thundered during an electrical storm Mom said the angels were bowling in heaven. I didn’t know what bowling meant, but I knew angels were good, so I figured it must be okay. Besides, angels weren’t half as scary as fierce old gods who threw lightening bolts.
The Kindle App on my iPad died, so I bought a new Kindle Fire which arrived this AM before breakfast. I don’t know if a drone delivered it or Santa Claus. I told David Amazon should print wings on its boxes. Not for me shopping in crowds. I let my fingers do the walking and found a deal. I’m loving this new Kindle, my third in a dozen years or so. The first died a long time ago. I use the second one, which is quite small, for carrying to the doctor’s office.
I went back and forth between buying a new iPad or the Kindle Fire. As I only wanted to access my ebooks, newspapers and magazines, I opted for the Kindle. IPad is for other things, like tracking my Weight Watchers diet, Facebook, WordPress, and games. Goodness me I am electrified.