One of my favorite words is festive. Derivatives delight me as well, even if they aren’t actually words. Festivize. Festivizer. There are other favorite words, like “delicious,” that undergo similar grammatical functional conversion in the face of my enthusiasm. Anne is gentle when she edits my made-up words out of official Urban Pharm material and generously leaves them in some times. 

This time of year is arguably a bonanza for “festive” lovers like me. It can also be a season that exerts a crushing level of pressure on the “festive”– to be it, feel it, package it up and gift it, fill our homes, offices, psyches, and communities with it. Prescribed festivity can become something of a drag, something heavy, something to live up to rather than lean into. 

It is also solstice season–today, in fact!–and there is a lot of talk of darkness and anticipating and turning toward light, longer days, more sun, etc.

A friend shared this New York Times guest opinion piece in a group chat a few weeks ago titled “Finding Light in Winter” by Mary Pipher. It is, in some ways, a solstice-themed piece, but what jumped out were a couple of lines that go to the heart of what “festive” means, at least to me. 

“This time of year, we must look for [the light]...

…we can find light in our own hearts, and we can be one another’s light. 

We can beam light out to everyone we meet.”

What is “festive” is what brings and provides light. It is a noun to be sought out, a verb to enact, an adjective to describe. In this season of giving and receiving, nothing feels more festive and delicious than offerings of light, warmth, and humanity. We send all of that to all of you with a ton of gratitude, love, and heart.

❤️ Jill

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