By Ross Turner
Gather ‘Round The Fire
It seems to happen every year; the crisp air rolls in, the coats come out, the trees put on their show, and lo, the holidays are upon us. The holiday season is a time of celebration, togetherness, and generosity. Starting with Thanksgiving, peaking with the December biggies of Hanukkah and Christmas, and capping off with the ever-rowdy New Year’s we give thanks, reunite with family and friends, and spread as much seasonal cheer as possible.
Fruits of our Labor
As it has for thousands of years, the cold of fall and winter tended to draw people indoors and into close proximity with one another. Huddled inside and harvest gathered, there was little to do but tell stories, play games, cook and eat together, and generally enjoy the fruits of the year’s labor. The Danish have a word for this: hygge, or “a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” Though many of us don’t farm for a living anymore, we carry on this tradition symbolically in our yearly coming-together for the winter. Yet for those without a warm den to retreat to, or people to fill it, these times can feel anything but cheerful.