Large corporations that rely on rampant consumerism for their bottom line will have you believe that Thanksgiving is not as important and that finding the all important Christmas gift for everyone in your office or the ubiquitous necessity of out-decorating your neighbor is really where you need to put your efforts. Plug in the lights, wrap the boxes, consume the egg nog, these are the things that capitalism would have you believe is the be all of a successful Christma-Hanna-Kwazika. But I want you to see a different side. In every tradition there is a common theme, one of light. The returning of the light, the festival of lights, the birth of the light of the world. Whether you are pagan, hindu, jewish or christian this time of year while we are adjusting to the resetting of clocks and the fact that the days are shorter we find that every one of these traditions celebrates light. If you are rejoicing at Rama’s return home and lighting candles in his honor, or commemorating a great military victory and keeping the light burning for eight crazy nights, or merely marking the solstice with a celebration of the return of the sun then you are still honoring the light. Everyone at this time of year is celebrating light and spreading warmth. Even the christians are marking the birth of Jesus “the light of the world”, celebrating the shining star that lit the way to Bethlehem and waiting for Saint Nicholas to deliver coal (warmth) and oranges (sun). It is important to remember that the reason the church placed these observances at this time of year was to piggyback on some of the much more popular solstice celebrations. They incorporated evergreen trees, mistletoe, yule logs, and even Father Christmas that can trace his roots all the way back to the Roman Saturnalias that happened on or about the 23rd of December. Many people at this time of year want speed right through to their own personal traditions, they want to hear only one thing, their thing, and if it doesn't involve presents and ugly sweaters they will tell you you are not doing it right. Don’t get caught up in that, relish the light, enjoy the season and don’t short change Thanksgiving which is a holiday of inclusions, feeding others, and feeling the warmth of loved ones. Celebrate the similarities not the differences, feed someone this Holiday Season, cook something with your own hands and don’t forget other people like their traditions but nobody will say no to a hot meal and some camaraderie. And of course when it does become time to purchase a little something for your family and friends be sure to open your wallet for the local artisan, your neighbourhood retailer, and your community businesses.