It's probably not pre-printed on your commercially produced calendar, but Dec. 17 kicks off the week long Saturnalia. Of the ancient December holidays and its modern variants, Saturnalia is my personal favorite and many of the trappings of a modern Christmas -- whether secular, religious or a mix of both, were taken from the traditional trappings of the Saturnalia celebration.
Amidst all the ruckus, in recent years, about the imaginary war on Christmas, there have been calls for a move away from the traditional greetings of my secular December holiday and a simultaneous return to even older, more traditional December holiday greetings.
Life is a series of choices and each of us gets to choose how to react to the world going on around us. As such, I can either allow the joy to be sucked out of my holiday by being incensed that anyone would have the audacity to ask me to give up traditions I hold dear and that trace back through several generations of my family while, at the same time, accusing me of waging war on their traditions simply by having and practicing my own or I can acknowledge that while the war is imaginary, the pain is real and make peace with those who've mistaken me for their enemy by taking this suggestion to heart and at face value. I've chosen to do the latter.
So, it is in the spirit of forging a lasting holiday peace, celebrating kinship, friendship, vitality & life and sharing my seasonal joy with those whose treasured company and presence on this Earth makes my own time on this orbiting rock seem to pass far too quickly, that I extend to you and yours a most joyous and heartfelt, ancient and traditional Saturnalia greeting....
Io Saturnalia!! Cast off your toga!!!