I celebrated Christmas for the first time in my life 16 years ago. I was a student, halfway through my One Year Intensive, when December knocked at the door and we started decorating the house.
Boxes were brought down from the storage and I found myself getting all cheerful and excited like a kid. The trees around the campus got dressed in chains of lights, so even though it got darker earlier every day, it all looked so pretty and festive. Inside we were busy building Christmas trees, hanging lights and ornaments and placing little gift-wrapped boxes at the bottom of each tree.
As an Israeli who never experienced Christmas before, I was surprised to find out that I was affected and touched by the spirit of the Festive Season. For some of my Student Program fellows, Christmas brought up feelings from the past, mostly about family dynamics, loneliness and sadness. I felt free from all these (for me they were only connected to the Jewish New Year in September). Instead, I could feel the love, the family feeling, the warmth and the joy of being together with my friends. While sharing with my student family, comparing our different traditions of celebrating the season, I could be a part of the conversation. I recognized that ‘Hanukah’, the parallel Jewish holiday, is also a celebration of light which was meant to bring warmth in the coldest time of the year.
Since then I’ve loved celebrating Christmas at the Humaniversity. Together with friends from all around the world, we create a big field of love replacing unhappy memories of previous Christmases with beautiful experiences, enjoying each other and our love.
Since last year I have the privilege to lead the Coming Together workshop over Christmas and New Year together with Dharmaraj. This year we will look at ‘what do you need to complete 2016 and what kind of vision you would like to create for 2017’.
If you haven’t made plans for the season yet, I warmly invite you to join us to this heartful gathering of beautiful people who want to create more love and light in their lives. The workshop starts with Winter Solstice on the 21st of December, a whole day of dance and celebration and ends with the legendary New Year Eureka Dance Party.
Also special in this time is the Tan-Ju program for teenagers, the Parents and Kids Camp, and of course my favourite – the Diner Dansant, a classic 5-course gourmet meal with performances and dance on Christmas Eve. On this occasion we get a chance to dress up fancy and elegant and impress each other as we toast ‘Merry Christmas’.
I am looking forward to welcome you.