The Winter Solstice Season and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Winter Solstice Season and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Crane, Joseph December (2010)


I write this in the midst of the “holiday season” where so many people are navigating the complexities of personal and family relationships. This is a time where our aloneness hurts more and we take more joy in our connectedness. It’s often wrenching. This is reflected in traditional holiday literature and in our holiday movies. It is no accident that the two best‐known modern tales of the holiday season, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi involve grappling with poverty and deprivation. From A Charlie Brown Christmas to It’s a Wonderful Life to The Apartment, dark occasions are broken by a shaft of light coming only at the very end. When is the holiday season? We tend to look at the weeks before Christmas (coinciding the Hanukkah) as the season for revelry and fun, Christmas is a time of families getting together and sometimes re‐traumatizing each other; after several days, the final revelry is on New Year’s Eve and then the whole thing is suddenly over.

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