While both Wiccans and Christians celebrate the rebirth of their respective gods (more or less) at the same time, the lead up to the event couldn’t be more different. To Wiccans, the days between November Eve/Samhain (October 31st) and Winter Solstice/Yule (approx. December 21s) are meant to be a time to slow down and mourn the death of the god. For most North American Christians, November and December are the busiest time of year, with everyone rushing from mall to office party to family event and back to the mall, and then off to church.
As with all generalizations, though, there are plenty of exceptions. There are those Wiccans who are just as caught up in the yearly gift giving and parting frenzy as anyone else (and I admit to being one until a few years ago), and there are those Christians who slow down during this time to honour what the birth of Jesus meant for humankind. (Just because I’m not Christian doesn’t mean I don’t think that Jesus wasn’t a pretty cool guy.)
Growing up, it was always the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day that was the downtime for the year for me. Presents had been opened, the turkey mostly eaten, and family gone home. Now it is still a nice time to relax. Holiday visiting is done, and quanta is off work for at least a few days more. It is all the more sweet this year, since we are also counting down our last few weeks as a couple – the baby will arrive sometime before the end of January and make us into a trio. 2008 will be much different then 2007, but the changes will be welcome, even if they bring sadness, but most especially if they bring happiness.