Toronto is beginning to light up with non-denominational holiday decorations to keep us upbeat through the bitter cold of winter.  One decoration in particular caught my eye.

Like the white tree of Gondor, this amazing sculpture stands on a tiny citadel at the corner of Bay and Bloor.  You can see just how much brighter it is than everything else around.  I love this thing.  It just goes to show that you don’t have to celebrate christmas to celebrate the beauty of life in the deepest darkest part of winter.  Evergreen boughs, holly, feasting with your friends and family at the winter solstice (or close anyways), all symbols of growth and virility saying a big “bite me” to the deathly cold outside.  It may sound masochistic but that’s what the holidays are about for me: sticking it to the cold, thriving and celebrating in spite of the death and emptiness all around you.

And that’s what this tree says to me.  Winter may be dark, the beautiful leaves may have fallen and turned to muck, every living thing may whither and die but that doesn’t mean we have to lose hope or cheer.  We’ll get through it like we always have because we’re tough and because our hearts are warmer than the winter is cold.

So tell me, what keeps you cheerful as the days get shorter and colder?