My Kit Tan Who Is Six is waiting for something, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans. My Daughter and I got the Tree out of the garage earlier this week, and set it up on a table and plugged in the lights to see… and Kit Tan hopped up on the table and settled in under the tree. This is her table, after all, her viewing perch where she watches the world go by. And now she is waiting…
It can be difficult to get into the “Christmas Spirit,” here in Florida. It has been unusually rainy and warm here in Florida this month, so it sure doesn’t feel like Christmas. Certainly not like the Christmases I spent as a Child. I lived up in the Northeast then, and it snowed practically every Christmastime. It was beautiful.
Growing up Unitarian-Universalist, and in my house, the focus at Christmas wasn’t so much about the Christ child as it was a time of exploring Nature: we put suet out for the birds, we walked through the woods in the snow, and we looked at the starry, nights — dark nights and the sky full of stars. Sometimes, we would go sledding or ice skating. We spent a lot of time out side.
Christmas was a time to decorate the house with family heirlooms: ornaments and decorations. Many of the decorations were animal figurines. My sister and I would make a creche with dolls and put animal figurines on a table. Each day, we would advance the animals towards the creche another step; by Christmas morning, they were all gathered around the manger. My Mother used to tell me with great conviction, that on Christmas Eve, the Animals could all talk to each other.
Me and my parents and my sister and I would go in a car one evening to a place where the Christmas trees were all standing in stands in the packed down snow. We would all look at each tree from every angle and decide. Once the tree was home and up, and watered, then we’d decorate. We had glass ornaments, and sea shell ornaments, and drink-stir ornaments made of glass, like ice sickles, and then the tinsel. I think that tinsel was made from lead. My folks were very frugal and we saved the tinsel every year, on pieces of cardboard, wrapped up with waxed paper. Everything smelled like pine sap and history and the cold winter nights.
These days in Florida, I have a faux tree, which is reusable and comes apart for easy storage in the garage. If I want a real tree, I hop in my car and drive a mile or two in the day time to a sandy vacant lot. There’s a tent there, and in it are Christmas Trees. There’s tents like this all over Florida this time of year, selling Christmas Trees. (At other times of the year they sell: fireworks for agricultural purposes, flowers, pumpkins.) These trees come from Michigan or Wisconsin. They are cut up there, and trucked down here. I’m not sure how they keep these trees from drying out. The tents smell of pine tree.
…And my Kit Tan is waiting for Christmas Eve, the night the Animals all talk.
Share Your Peace With Our Earth
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Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere. You just need to explore the magic of your land. What is it saying to you? What are the seasons, where you live? What do they mean to you? How are they celebrated?
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