From The Innkeepers

December 2022

Experiencing Joy, Bringing Light, Being a Gift
December 2022 Blog


On Giving Tuesday which fell on November 29th this year, our family attended Community Giving Day which is the gathering to raise donations for about 50 Not for Profit Organizations in our local area.  Each of these organizations in their own way does so much good in the world by sheltering the homeless, feeding hungry children and their families, helping victims of domestic violence, providing medical care for the uninsured, sheltering animals, providing a safe space for children who are victims of sexual abuse to tell their story, or creating moments of spontaneous joy and random kindnesses to lift someone’s spirit. The experience of so many needs all under one roof is overwhelming.  But it was also heartwarming to see how many of our friends and neighbors answer the call to meet these needs by either volunteering for these organizations or donating money to them.  Being there so close to the Christmas season made me think more deeply about the nature of giving.  Giving of our time or monetary resources is really an extension of who we are, a reaching out in love for the benefit of another. 

Sometimes the commercialized nature of the winter holidays overshadows our soulful wants and desires. These were Christmas lists that no shopping mall or online shopping website can fulfill.  This was one day of the year when we can be the gift that someone else needs to survive or even thrive for one more year.   

Joy can flow from generosity.  George the Stourbridge Junction Cat is one of my teachers of joy.  George is the resident cat and mouse catcher and all around spreader of much joy.

His online persona is created by someone called the FC who is in charge of this railway station in England.  One of George’s teachings is to celebrate who we are by living purposefully, giving abundantly, and loving unconditionally.  So, when we sing “Joy to the World” this holiday season, sing full heartedly, about the godliness we show in our daily lives.  Let it not only be the joy of a long-ago incarnation, let it be of the joyful incarnation happening in the world today because of us. 

One of the overarching symbols for the month of December is light because it is the darkest time in our calendar year.  Winter Solstice on the 21st celebrates the gradual emergence of the light.  It is imperceptible at first because only about a minute of daylight starts being added each day, but gradually as we creep our way through the winter months, we experience the accumulation of returning to the light.    We celebrate light this month because we notice its absence.  We light candles this month during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza.  We string lights on trees and wreaths, around doorways, across rooftops, and fireplace mantles.   I think the tradition of doing these things was started as an outer holiday ritual that fulfilled an inner need.  It serves to remind us to bring the light of who we are to affect the lives of those around us.  It reminds us of our need to focus on the inner light of our truer deeper selves that has the potential to enlighten the world.  May the flame that we carry within us be a blessing to those we encounter.

My musings this month have touched on generosity, joy, gift giving, and light.  But surrounding all of these is gratitude.  For those who spend part of your time with us each year, we are especially grateful.  We are grateful to have had the opportunity to be with you and serve you this year.  We are grateful to have experienced your joy and generosity.  We are grateful for the light and the gifts of yourself that you bring to us.  We bless this year for all it has brought and how it has shaped us and become a part of us. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey.


Marcia, Pat, and Sharon

Keepers of the Rustic Gate