When I was growing up in a small town in southern Louisiana, my mother tried to create certain holiday traditions. We celebrated Christmas with all the enthusiasm four kids and one or two dogs could muster. The smell of baking cookies would blend with the sharp scent of a newly cut tree. We worked on handmade ornaments, stringing popcorn and holly berries, and listening to Christmas music while sipping a mug of my mother's homemade cocoa. Each year we looked forward to this time of the year to celebrate our family traditions. It is traditions like those of my childhood which help connect us.
Some celebrate Christmas. Others look forward to Hannakah. There there is the celebration of Kwanzaa. Many ways to celebrate this special time of year and make memories to last a life time. When I look at December's calendar, I see lots of days taken in celebration of one thing or another.
But wait! Somebody forgot a celebration which is literally steeped in tradition going back in time before any of these other holidays. A tradition which could face extinction if not carefully nurtured and shared with the world, so I propose adding one more event to our season of celebrations.
No one has grabbed December 17th through December 21st yet, so starting this year I plan on celebrating Seanachaism during that week. What is Seanachaism you might ask? Why the ancient art of storytelling of course!
Can't you just see it now? Houses filled with lighted book trees, friends and families exchanging a special book with one another, and songs about books playing in the background. I've already planned out my week. On Monday I will kick off Seanachaism with making a special bookmark to carry me into the new year. Tuesday will find me at my local library eagerly awaiting story time. On Wednesday I will decorate book shaped cookies to nibble on while I sip my hot tea. Thursday I will visit a bookstore to buy a few children's books so I can donate them to Toys For Tots. And on Friday I will throw a book exchange party where we will sing book carols to round out a week of celebrating the oral and written word.
I can think of no other holiday tradition more worthy of honoring at this time of year. No matter a person's gender, race, color, or background, you will always find the wonderful art of storytelling in the history of every nation in the world. It helps connect hearts and ensures our future, so I know what I will be doing in another week. How about you?
Happy Seanachaism everybody!