The “holiday season” is well-named. It’s not just Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, but also Sundays of Advent, The Feast of St. Nicholas, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Twelve days of Christmas, St. Stephen’s Day, Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus. And also, of course, Hanukkah, Rohatsu or Buddha Day, Yule, and sometimes Ramadan and Eid.
I’ve come to really appreciate December 8th, which is both Buddha Day and Immaculate Conception Day. A wonderfully non-commercialized respite that’s sacred to Catholics, Japanese Buddhists, and anyone else who wants an excuse to take a break from the hustle and bustle. And although I have fairly little “Marian devotion,” I can’t wait to get to Mass tonight and sing “Salve, Regina,” one of my favorite hymns.
May all of us be inspired to follow the examples of Mary and the Buddha who in their different ways both brought the light of the world into the world.