...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


rekindling a Christmas Eve tradition

Christmas Eve has always been a very special time for me.
This year I've started to rekindle an old tradition, quite literally.

When I was growing up, my best friend's family
shared this tradition of theirs with me
and when I spent holidays with them, 
I got to experience how lovely it truly is. 
Every Christmas Eve
they light a candle.
 The light of the candle 
is to connect them 
with everyone else they love
but can't be with.  

They've given candles to dear friends and extended family 
to continue the tradition. 
If everyone else has a candle, and lights it that night.
The flame unifies everyone across the miles.

In that way, we are all together.

In my friend's family they've always lit a bayberry candle.
True bayberry candles are hard to find, 
since it takes several (some say 15!) pounds of bayberries 
to make 1 pound of bayberry wax,
but they're well worth the price if you can find them.

Bayberry candles also tap into an old New England tradition.
Apparently the colonists used bayberry wax as an alternative 
to their rendered fat/tallow candles, 
and they lit bayberry candles on special occasions
like Christmas Eve or New Year's.
 Over the years, lighting the bayberry candle 
also took on new dimensions,
basically that burning the candle all the way down
"will bring a year of abundance"
or something like that.

 Next year, I'll be giving candles to spread the tradition once again.

It's important to feel connected,
to nurture our relationships.

 are the heart of life.
When it comes down to it, 
that's what matters most.

Oh, one more thing before I sign off.

I couldn't resist sharing two new holiday pieces
that I really love:

 a really poignant, heart-rending piece
"Winter Song"
by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

but my Inner Irish Woman
hops up and gets jiggy
to this toe-tapping Christmas Jig and Reel
by Natalie MacMaster

 The video is a little wobbly at the beginning,
but hang in there, it's a truly joyful tune.


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