By Debbie Leschner
Religions worldwide observe many seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. As we shop and visit about, it is more and more common to hear friends, neighbors and strangers wish us “Happy Holidays”, and it is a fitting response with most religious holy days linked in some way to the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere.
Winter Solstice happened on Dec. 21. On that day, due to the earth’s tilt on its axis, the daytime hours were at a minimum in the northern hemisphere and the night time is at a maximum.
Season’s greetings are being shared in various ways to treat the celebrations of many faiths as diversely as mankind itself.
We should value the range of December celebrations, because it is evidence of the multiplicity of belief within our common earthly humanity. We should share a smile and above all, share respect, both within our own religious traditions and in reaching out to those of other faiths. Indeed we are celebrating the ability to inspire people to lead more ethical lives. Religious diversity is a very positive influence.
This winter season is bringing many of our Luna families together in very special ways. Dennis and Patti Swapp recently traveled with family to Las Vegas, Nev., to celebrate their youngest daughter Jessica’s marriage and enjoy a little time away. Congratulations from all of us to Jessica. I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence that it also just happened to be National Finals Rodeo week.
Stan and Pam Thompson recently received the best Christmas present ever. Their 36th grandchild was born on Dec. 6. Milo Boyd Whatcott came into the world weighing 8 lbs., 8 oz. Grandma Pam reports their daughter Kendra, husband Russell and baby Milo are doing great.
Christmas Events and Services
The Catholic Church of Alpine, Ariz., is preparing to hold their Christmas Eve Mass on Friday, Dec. 24. For specific times for this year’s services, you may contact Becky Trujillo.
The Presbyterian Church of Alpine, Ariz., will hold its Christmas Eve Mass at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24, and has extended a special invitation to everyone to attend the services. Flyers have been posted on the bulletin board for more information on this and weekly worship services and meeting times.
Ever wonder how your early family might have spent their Christmas season celebrations? Christmas was not celebrated in the Colonial period at all like it is today. British Episcopalian settlers would go to church on Christmas Day and come home to a meal with family, but not necessarily a special meal. Christmas was viewed more as a religious activity.
A British Christmas was also more for adults than for children. Wealthy British colonists in the southern colonies would hold Christmas balls, featuring a burning Yule log from an oak tree. Fox hunting and other activities would follow in the 12 days after Christmas. Mistletoe, holly, and bay leaves were placed in vases in windows, according to old paintings.
Young British schoolboys would write “Christmas pieces” on paper with holiday borders, which would later become the infamous Christmas card.
Quote of the week:
“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
—Japanese Proverb quotes