The wintry month of December has been a time of celebration since the earliest days of caves and campfires. As soon as humans could make sense of the phases of the moon and the wheeling of the stars, we treasured the Winter Solstice - the darkest day of the year. Many counted this period as the turning point for the entire cycle.
Yule sprang from this date, as did the Chinese celebrations. When the Syrians attacked Jerusalem in 167BC, and the locals ably defended themselves, this added on yet another reason to cherish this time of year. In the Middle Ages, the Christian Church decided to assign the birth of Christ - an up-until-then unknown date probably happening in the spring or fall - to December 25th. The Christians felt the renewal of life and the Solstice were perfect symbols for the light Christ brought to the world.
Add into that the Holy Day for Saint Nicholas, on December 6th. Saint Nick was a 300AD Bishop renowned for his generosity. He would secretly leave presents and gifts for the poor. In Dutch his name became Sinterklass, and the legend of Santa Claus was begun. For many, giving presents became a treasured part of the holiday.
Our holiday collection includes short stories, poetry, essays, memories, and much more, all celebrating the myriad of ways in which we celebrate this precious time of year. We may use different names and emphasize different symbology, but together we all have the same core foundations - peace, love, and compassion for others.
Authors featured in this compilation are:
S. M. Nevermore
The Sutton Writing Group supports local Toys for Tots programs.