Hey SciFly Readers!
Hope you are having a wonderful lead up to the holiday madness. Finally recovered from my cold and have been in overdrive trying to wrap up end of the year projects and figure out what the hell to buy/make everyone this year!
Looking at all of the holiday festivities really got me thinking about rituals this week, and how important they are to keep people going during hard times and long winters. All over the world we have seen cultures and religions celebrate mid-winter, the darkest day of the year in a variety of fashions, but it's almost like we as people need something to keep us going when it get's cold, dark, and super mis outside. Fresh pine greens, light and warmth, singing, feasting, all of these have become symbols of the season, attached with different types of sentiment and importance depending on your background.
Admittedly, especially in NYC, the rituals can start to feel co-opted, or commercialized, or just perpetually crowded with everyone else who is trying to do the same thing, there will always be something magical about seeing the lights go up, the flavors of the season waft through the air, and yes, even the dumb repetitive 7 holiday gifts that all the winter markets seem to somehow sell... But that doesn't mean we don't need them.
Rituals bring us together and give us a shared reason to do something, to get out and celebrate, to be around people, especially when we'd otherwise be holed up in our homes with a hot drink and a good book. As annoying as it is to get up, bundle up, and walk around, the hot cup of overpriced mulled cider you claim as a reward for braving the subway on a weekend (then remembering it's SantaCon and slapping yourself) still somehow tastes magical for that one time you are first drinking it each year.
So, whatever your ritual, I hope you get out and do it. Connect with people, buy one silly overpriced 'holiday' treat that makes you happy, gawk at or make fun of (your choice) the lights, the fairs, the drunken day-tripper only wearing tinsel in 40 degree weather, whatever.
See you next week for our special double Holiday issue!!!
Read on for this week's great speculative events!