An image that is so comforting to me is one of the candle in our bathroom window shining out to the outside world, shining in unison with neighbouring houses with their own candles every Christmas. It is a common tradition in Ireland and is something that I found always grounded me. There is something so unifying but simple about that candle burning, silently connecting with every other household that lights one. Connecting with people is an important element of Christmas. I have to admit, I had to do some research into this tradition since I never really thought too deeply about it. It does have religious connotations; to light the way for Mary and Joseph, a sign during penal times (when the English government banned the practising of Catholicism in Ireland) that a house would be safe for a priest to say mass. Candles are also lit in Ireland in prayer and for a deceased love one and for other moments. For me it doesn’t hold the strong religious meaning it carries for the generation before me but it is always something that stirs me, that makes me reflect on what I’m feeling or thinking in that moment or in general. Christmas should be about that. A time to consider what we are thankful for or the ways in which we can change our thinking or being for the better. The soft flame seems always so fragile and yet strong, powerful.
Hope everyone has a nice Christmas 🙂