What a special time of year this is!
People living in the Northern Hemisphere of this amazing planet all seem to have something to celebrate, and it happens around the winter solstice.
Most celebrations include sharing traditional foods, the retelling of customary stories, and singing and dancing. Cultural traditions celebrated during this time also include lighting candles and fires to keep warm; these are a good reminder that light can symbolize new beginnings.
It is important to be part of these traditions and set aside time to observe the significance of this season. The beauty and grace of snow falling reminds us that our world is naturally quiet and at rest, and that darkness always comes before dawn.
Technology (whether you love it or hate it) has become a large part of our lives. Through the internet, we have gained some amazing insights into the customs of other cultures around the world and may have added or adapted them into our own celebrations. We have also gained the knowledge that human beings are more alike than we sometimes realize. By experiencing and bearing witness to such wonderful traditions around the world during this special time, we can savor the richness of this season even more and even gain a new perspective on life.
We have also relied on technology to keep us connected to our friends and families during the pandemic. Platforms like Zoom and Google have allowed us to continue to share our lives with colleagues and loved ones. Isolation can be difficult and confusing, especially for the elderly. I encourage all family members and friends to use these tools to visit with friends, neighbors, and loved ones during this special time of year. Help others who may be alone, and share your knowledge of how these wonderful platforms work with those who aren’t familiar with them. Everyone should be connected! Zoom your mom and let her watch as you bake cookies, decorate for the holidays, or bathe her grand dog. She may even invite the neighbors to the screen to watch with her. Remember she loves you and is proud no matter what you may be doing. You may become a Zoom sensation!
I have witnessed the excited anticipation of our seniors getting ready for their virtual Zoom visits. I have shared in their elation when the screen opens, and friends or family are suddenly smiling in front of them. Mom or Dad will happily study the screen for the slightest details so they will not forget a single moment. They then will tell every person around them all about their wonderful visit! I have watched as this experience lights up their entire day. During this unprecedented pandemic, and in the midst of this season of heartfelt traditions, I am thankful for this technology. It enables us to be together, to rejoice, to be thankful, and to continue to share our traditions. I am most grateful that technology has allowed us to distance safely, while still being able to celebrate in real time and share in the traditions of light with the rest of the world.
— Teresa Hammack, Marketing Director