The holiday season is an amazing mishmash of ancient and contemporary traditions: Greek, Roman, Turkish, Norse, Germanic, Dutch, English, American and undoubtedly others, each adding their local and cultural influence. It’s rather like a potluck holiday, don’t you think?
- Happy Saturnalia, may your servants and slaves wear your best finery. May your gift exchange provide you with humor and honor. And may your sacrifices be slight, may the blood spill—only a little.
- May Saint Nicholas help you spread gifts, kindness and hope to all the children of the world.
- May your Yule log burn throughout the night. May the mistletoe remain vibrantly green in your doorway and its associated fertility seep into your familial line.
- May Frau Holle (Holly?), Old Mother Frost, shake her quilt to dust your lands with snow.
- May the Twelve Days count up with your true love’s strange taste in gifts and the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
- May your midnight mass be filled with solemn song and humble hymns.
- May Sinterklaas ride his fine white horse, delivering treats to kids in need of an early morning sugar rush.
- May Santa Claus and his trusty caribou break the laws of physics and geolocate your home and the deserving souls within.
- May you dismiss your servants to box with their families on Boxing Day.
- May the oil feed your lamp with guiding light during your eight crazy Hanukkah nights.
- May your first fruits of Kwanzaa be as tasty as those delicious Texas ruby grapefruit.
- May the miles of your twinkling lights blink all night to your neighbor’s chagrin, and may your pets avoid nibbling the poison poinsettias.
- May you enjoy grandma’s fruitcake, despite its pickled fruit and leaden chew.
- May the chocolate prizes behind each numbered door not taste of wax or plastic.
- May your gingerbread house turn to stone, the gumdrop path escape theft and the candycane lamp post not droop to a sad, bent peppermint puddle.
- May your stack of holiday cards grow each day, may your wreath avoid being blown down the street and may your tannenbaum retain its needles until you begin the nerve-wracking task of dragging its desiccated corpse from your living room.
- But mostly, and I believe this is the primary reason we even celebrate this time of year, may the death of the old year and the birth of the new bring closure and the promise of better things to come.
May your KFC be crisp and your Christmas Cakes be light and fluffy and available throughout the holiday.
May your Christmas Eve fondue bubble like molten gold and your lobster, oyster or favorite stew be as tasty as it was in your youth.
May your stockings burst with a cornucopia of treats and tokens of gratitude.
May the repetition of a thousand holiday carols drill their insidious ear-worms such that even when you’re away from their constant drone you continue to hum them beneath your breath.
May your Nativity Scene remain aglow despite the weather or vandals.
May your candles flicker, their wicks grown long and their wax not drip into the carpet.
May you find your hidden broom when the snow builds on your doorstep.
Regardless of your traditions may they bring you joy and contentment. If you know of others that you’d like to share…