On the topic of everyday or non-traditional rituals, my favorite celebration of the year happens at the Winter Solstice or Yule. On that day, I gather my framily for a special feast of foods that, though we eat in the evening, are traditional breakfast foods. If you’re a fan of the show Scrubs, you might remember that Turk and JD referred to breakfast food eaten at dinner as Brinner.
Yes, we have Yule Brinner.
(If you’re not at least chuckling right now, do a quick Google search for Yul Brynner and then come back. It’s a pun.)
Anyway, the special part of the celebration isn’t that it’s particularly meaningful. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. It’s an excuse to get together and exchange holiday gifts with friends. We’ve literally taken a pun and turned it into an annual tradition. And that’s the part that matters. It’s ours, and we consider it special.
It’s like Festivus. Or Star Wars Day (May the 4th…). There’s nothing that says we can’t make up celebrations and rituals for personal reasons, to celebrate how we see fit. And, in fact, by doing so we often create more meaningful rituals than the ones observed as part of larger cultural traditions. Traditions and rituals should mean something to us, even if just as a pun or an excuse to gather with people who mean something to us. Shaping that cycle of observances shouldn’t be left to the forces of society, it should be something we create on an individual level. It should fit our own spiritual intentions and needs, our own particular concept of what’s worth celebrating.
But yes, you can all steal the Yule Brinner idea if you want it.Tags: celebration, holidays, personal essay, spiritual practice, spirituality
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