Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Yo Saturnalia, Joyous Soyal and many other traditions.
December is a sacred time around the world. In North America, many of the native peoples celebrate the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and the return of the sun the next day, which is their New Year’s Day. More ceremonies occur on December 24th and 25th.
For example, the Salish say that long ago a great and good man came among their forefathers and performed miracles of all kinds. Upon leaving them, he said he would return in the form of a big white coyote. At Isleta Pueblo, they celebrate the Buffalo Dances on December 24th and early morning on Christmas Day, and at Nambe Pueblo the buffalo dancers come out in glorious horned headdresses to dance by a light of a great bonfire. The fragrance of piñon smoke drifts through the darkness as the dancers cast enormous shadows over the pueblo walls.
In the Gear house, this season is a time of hope. We celebrate the return of buffalo to our world, and the “great and good man” who came and will return.
No matter your beliefs, we hope that this holiday season brings your long night to an end, and you find yourself surrounded by the light and the warmth of family and friends.
We wish you the happiest of holidays,
Michael and Kathleen Gear