A few thoughts on the holidays

First frost, crisp mornings, dogs and children romping through piles of leaves, good books read during cozy evenings, birds flocking to suet cakes, leisure time with friends, trees transformed in oranges, reds, and yellows – a renewing time of the year heralding the holidays. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and, in some years, Ramadan. For the record, my favorite among the busy, glitter filled weeks is Winter Solstice.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Thanksgiving with its gathering of family and friends over turkey and potluck dishes in spice scented kitchens, is a priceless day of relaxation before the frenetic round of gifts and parties and glitz. Yeah, I like turkey day.

But it is the often overlooked, shortest day of the year, Winter Solstice, that’s my personal favorite.  Ebbing daylight, plants folding into rest, and long reflective evenings pivot on this astronomical event. In northern climates, solstice spawned an eating and drinking orgy for pagans facing starvation from January thru April.  In more temperate zones, post summer harvest completion of beer and wine fermentation signaled drinking fests. Cyclic calendars and ideas of birth-rebirth sprang from this shortest day. Do you begin to see my point? Or should I say turning-point. . . ?

Here’s wishing you Merry Solstice.  And, for good measure, Happy Holidays.

Published by Nancy Hartney

Nancy Hartney's debut novel hits the shelves 2021. If You Walk Long Enough is a tale of a return from the Vietnam War to a place that is no longer home and the people have become strangers. It is a tale of psychic pounding, of the twists and turns of relationships, of upheaval, and survival. Her previous two short story collections set in the South—'Washed in the Water: Tales from the South' and 'If the Creek Don’t Rise: Tales from the South' continue to be available in bookstores and public libraries. Hartney writes poetry and magazine articles. Her work can be found in various regional publications, horse magazines, and national poetry journals. She often serves as writing contest judge, workshop leader, and presents author readings at libraries and book clubs. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Ozarks Writers League (MO), Tallahassee Writers Association (FL), Ozark Creative Writers (AR), and two local critique groups. Her books are available in print and e-format as well as audio.

9 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the holidays

  1. Marvelous images, remembered smells, time for spcial thoughts, and moments to read a delicious book. I also have a special feeling about the Winter Solstice. The next day begins a wee more sunlight than the day before. Light returns from winter darkness.


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