DECEMBER! Where in the world has this year gone? It seems like 2018 flew by and here we are getting ready for the holidays and the start of a new year. During these shorter and colder days life seems to slow down almost as if in hibernation. We sleep more and eat more as though we are reserving energy for the coming spring.
This is the time of year when we gather together with family and friends to share the holidays and our special traditions. They are as many and varied as are the people we serve.
Growing up in my home we celebrated Christmas. We had our tree, went to church and made Biscochos, a Mexican holiday cookie that sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and Atole, a hot chocolate made with corn meal, star anise, Mexican chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. We watched the wonderful Christmas shows, opened presents, and reveled in the joy of family.
One of my dearest friends growing up came from a Jewish family and they celebrated Hanukkah. I was always welcomed to their home to observe their traditions and partake in their traditional meals. The lighting of the menorah, listening to their family stories, and enjoying the foods opened my eyes to how wonderful different beliefs and cultures were.
Like the varied beliefs of my friends growing up, the people we serve are just as varied. We have Catholic, Christian, and Jewish neighbors that we serve who recognize holidays during December. We have neighbors that celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule because of their Wiccan/Pagan beliefs. We have neighbors that are Buddhist and do not recognize any particular holiday during December. We also have neighbors who do not follow a particular religion or they practice their own spiritual path.
And the wonder of it all is that they coexist in harmony and understanding. We can all believe in and practice year round the common thread in all these beliefs – to do good unto others. Be gentle. Be kind. Be giving.
From all us at Reach Out Morongo Basin we wish you and your loved ones the joy of family and friends this holiday season and in the coming year.
With Peace, Love, and Happiness ~
Robin Schlosser,Executive Director