Midwinter. There is such magic and mystery in the word - a connection to people and times past, and an invitation to sink down into the comforting dark. This is a time for rest and rejuvenation, for re-evaluation and sowing the seeds of intention. But modern Western Christmas culture rips that from us in the mad rush and the insistence that we need to buy more, do more, see more, even eat and drink more at this time of the year. I'm taking it back.
Hestia is the anglicised version of her name. Her Greek name - Εστία (pronounced es-tee-ah) - means dwelling. She was the goddess of home, and goddess of the hearth. On Olympus, her job was to take the good stuff from every sacrifice, to any deity, and feed it into the fire on the mountain. And so, part of every sacrifice belonged to her. Every hearth-fire belonged to her too. And, in those days, there were hearth-fires everywhere: in every home, every temple, even up on Mount Olympus.
I love the Christmas season, but I have to admit the waste and excess makes my stomach churn. I know lots of people feel the same way. Over the past few years, I've been consciously downsizing Christmas for me and my family - cutting back, but keeping all the heart.