|christmas dreams (Photo credit: D Petzold Photography)|
My Christmas dreams when I was a child were those of wishing for things that I wanted to find on Christmas morning or more ambiguous discoveries of unexpected things that were equally delightful. Christmas dreams were never bad dreams. Those dreams were sleep experiences that would leave me feeling happy, hopeful, and excited about things to come or things that could be. Dreams related to New Year were more disconcerting.
Two Examples of Holiday Season Dreams:
One example that I remember came when I was about eleven years of age after I had begun collecting stamps. I was passionate about the hobby at that time and I would look forward to receiving packets of foreign stamps as part of my Christmas bounty. In one dream I was in the dining room of the house where we lived. The house in the dream was bigger and the larger dining room was positioned differently than our actual dining room. I reached under the table into one of the corners and discovered a cache of stamps that began pouring out into my hands and onto the floor. I was elated by the philatelic treasure trove that I had discovered. After awakening I checked beneath our dining room table to find out if any stamps were really there. Of course they were not, but still the dream left me feeling happy.
Somewhere around that same time I recall having a dream related to New Years that left me with a more apprehensive feeling. In this dream I was outside in a neighborhood not far from the one where we were living at the time in San Diego, California. This was a neighborhood that I recognized but was mostly unfamiliar with. I had an awareness that it was midnight. There was a verge of New Years revelry that was overshadowed by a sense that the world was ending. I looked up at a sky that appeared to be churning with clouds that were illuminated with an internal fire. I was fearful, yet awestruck.
Here Is How I Interpret the Difference:
Christmas and New Year are both times of expectations. Since the Christmas event is related to looking forward to receiving material possessions, there is usually little fear involved and a greater sense of hope. Past experience construes previous gifts received and good times had related to that day. Happy thoughts abound. The Christmas dreams relate to some things unknown and things that are often probabilities, but they are all things that we believe will be happy things. The Christmas dreams will frequently reflect that belief that we have within us.
The New Year anticipates what will hopefully be good for us, but what might also bode darkly. This is the beginning of an entire year that could consist of bad and good. There is not much in concrete material things that we relate to the concept of a year. The year is primarily related to a series of events. We may have been hearing of the previous year's events, many which may have been bad and frightening. Predictions may be offered of things to come and sometimes those things don't sound so good.
In the early 1960's when I had the dreams related here, we were in a time of Cold War with the threat of impending nuclear war ever looming on the horizon. I was not terrified, but interested in what was going on and fascinated by the possibilities of what could happen. I was aware of Biblical prophesies and my favorite entertainment was any film that was post-apocalyptic or dealing with effects of mutations resulting from nuclear energy or other sources. My darker dreams of that period reflect not being afraid as much as being curious about where the world was going.
Have you had any dreams specifically influenced by the holidays? If so, have you noticed any difference in dreams related to one holiday or another? How would you suppose dreams might differ in children from one decade to the next? Do you ever have dreams that seem to reflect apocalyptic visions?