This week two of my favorite holidays begin to coalesce: Loi Krathong and Christmas. Like East meets West, all in one week. Loi Krathong is a festival of lights, where the entire holiday surrounds spiritual time at temple and then releasing paper lanterns into the night sky and floating it down the river in an annual cleansing of sins. I’m also preparing for Christmas: gifts that need to be shipped overseas, cookies that need to be baked with kids before we close for the holidays, decor that needs to be hung and joyful tidings strung.
As different as these two festivals may be, at root, they do have similarities. They both offer time for spiritual reflection. And they both encourage us to revel in the simple beauty of lights shining through the dark like little beacons of hope and warmth.
The pure joy of Loi Krathong lies in watching lights ascend in the night sky. No crazy commercialism, no pressure, no expectations. Just pretty lights floating like stars.
As complex as Christmas can become (Just what is that perfect gift? Who’s going to be here when? Is Auntie Susan still not talking to Uncle Mark? Will we have time to do everything I’ve pinned?), when it comes down to it, the highlights are always the simple things: that look of joy when a loved one does open that perfect gift, stolen kisses under the mistletoe, pecan pie, champagne glasses clinking, and hands holding hands while hymns are sung.
The joy of giving.
It’s going to get all kinds of busy real fast up in here.
But for tonight, I’m grateful for the simple joys. Incredibly generous friends and family*, cuddles with a warm puppy, a husband who makes me laugh, comfort food, and a good book. These are my lanterns in the dark.
*I only wish I could give a shout out and link up to everyone I’m grateful for.