It’s that time of year again when families gather around the fireplace, eggnog in-hand, and the holiday spirit filling the air. As we approach the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon the year it’s been and the one to come. But, for the citizens of The Giver’s dystopian society, December symbolizes something entirely different than holiday cheer.
In Lois Lowry’s novel, The Giver, December is the most important and revered month of the year in the Community. The month represents Sameness, a world with no emotion, no individuality, and no pain. The people in the Community celebrate “The Ceremony of Twelve” in December, where all children turn twelve years old and receive an assignment in the Community. The term “assignment” might sound exciting, but in this world, it means a predetermined role in society that individuals must fulfill for the rest of their lives. The ceremony also marks the beginning of adulthood, as every citizen is assigned their occupation that will determine their place in society.
As we read The Giver, we are introduced to the complexity of Sameness, a society that’s devoid of pain, color, and the human experience. December, in this world, is a pivotal time, one that marks the beginning of the rest of their lives for the children. While we reflect on the joys the holiday season can bring, it’s essential to understand the significance of December in The Giver, a month that represents a world that values control and uniformity over freedom and expression.
Winter Solstice Symbolism
In “The Giver,” December symbolizes the traditional Winter Solstice, which marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for centuries by cultures around the world, and it holds significant symbolic value.
- Rebirth: The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the winter season and the lengthening of days. It is a time of rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings.
- Light: As the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice is also a celebration of light. Cultures around the world light candles, bonfires, and other sources of light to symbolize the return of the sun’s warmth and light.
- Reflection: The Winter Solstice encourages reflection and introspection as individuals and communities prepare for the coming year. It is a time to let go of the old and celebrate the new.
In “The Giver,” the December ceremony, which takes place on the day of the Winter Solstice, is a symbolic representation of these themes. The community gathers to celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. They release their memories of the past year and welcome the new year with hope and optimism.
Religious holidays in December
December is a month filled with holidays celebrated by various religions around the world. In The Giver, the community has abolished religion, so these celebrations are not acknowledged, but it’s important to understand their significance in our world.
- Christmas: The most popular holiday in December, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. It’s a time for families to come together and exchange gifts, attend church services, and enjoy festive meals. The color red and green, decorated trees, and twinkling lights are a common theme during this holiday.
- Hanukkah: Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and is a celebration of the Jewish victory over the Syrians. Jews light candles on a menorah each night, exchange gifts, and enjoy traditional foods like latkes and sufganiyot.
- Kwanzaa: A week-long celebration in the African American community, Kwanzaa is a holiday that focuses on family, community, and African culture. It starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st. Each day, a candle is lit on a kinara, and there are seven principles that are emphasized which include unity, self-determination, and cooperative economics. Traditional African foods like jollof rice, black-eyed peas, and yams are enjoyed during this holiday.
These holidays give people a chance to come together to celebrate their beliefs, values, and traditions. While the community in The Giver doesn’t have religious celebrations, they do have an Annual Ceremony where everyone is acknowledged for the next step in their life.
|Hanukkah||Lunar calendar, usually falls in December|
|Kwanzaa||December 26th-January 1st|
Regardless of your religious affiliation, December is a time to come together with loved ones, reflect on the year, and look forward to the future. It’s a time for giving, for showing kindness, and for remembering that we are all connected in this world.
Gift-Giving Culture in December
In “The Giver”, December is a month filled with gift-giving and celebrations. This tradition of gift-giving during the holiday season is not unique to the fictional world of The Giver, but is a practice that has been celebrated for centuries across various cultures and religions. Here, we will take a closer look at the gift-giving culture in December and how it is observed globally.
- Christmas: Christmas is the most popular holiday celebrated in December, and it is a time for gift-giving and spreading joy. Children wait eagerly for Santa Claus to visit them with presents on Christmas Eve, while families exchange gifts with each other on Christmas morning. This tradition is a way of showing love and appreciation for one another and is a symbol of the love that was shared when baby Jesus was born.
- Hanukkah: Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights celebrated in December and is a time to celebrate the miracle of oil that burned for 8 days when the Maccabees purified the holy temple in Jerusalem. During this festival, Jews exchange gifts with family and friends, eat fried foods and light the menorah to celebrate the occasion.
- Kwanzaa: Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st. It is a festival observed by African Americans to honor their ancestors, and it is a time for reflection and celebration of their cultural heritage. During Kwanzaa, families exchange gifts and light the kinara, a candleholder with seven candles that represent the seven principles of African heritage.
Aside from these major holidays, gift-giving in December is practiced in various other cultures and religions such as Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, and Yule. The act of gift-giving is not just a material exchange but also a way of expressing love and appreciation for one another.
In conclusion, December is a month filled with festivities, joy, and gift-giving. It is a time for families and friends to come together and cherish their relationships. As we observe the celebrations and traditions of December, let us keep in mind the true meaning behind gift-giving, which is to express love and kindness to one another.
End-of-year reflections and resolutions
December marks the end of the year, a time for reflection and renewal. As we prepare to bid farewell to the past year and welcome the new one, it’s essential to take a moment to look inward and assess our lives. Many use December as a time to reflect on the past year’s events and set resolutions for the upcoming year. It’s a season of hope and anticipation, a time to set goals and work towards achieving them.
- The Number 4:
Reflection is vital in personal growth and development. Looking back on the past year gives us an opportunity to count our blessings, learn from our mistakes, and identify areas that need improvement. During these reflections, it’s essential to focus on the positive events in our lives, celebrate our successes, and express gratitude for the people and opportunities that came our way.
Resolutions are personal commitments to self-improvement. They are goals we set for ourselves to help us become better versions of ourselves. During the last few days of December, many take the time to develop their New Year’s resolutions. These objectives often include a range of things, from exercising regularly and eating healthier, to working towards career goals and improving relationships. Whatever the resolution, the most important part is committing to the goal and working consistently to achieve it.
In “The Giver,” the month of December marks the Ceremony of Twelve, where each child figures out what their unique role will be in society when they come of age. The number 4 symbolizes this sense of determination and discipline that comes with the realization of one’s calling. Four is the number of stability and strength, providing a sense of order and direction that we need when setting goals for the upcoming year.
As we approach the end of another year, it’s essential to take stock of our lives, both past, and present, and set goals for the future. Whether it’s based on the number four or not, December is a potent symbol of new beginnings and a chance to start afresh. As we transition into a new year, let’s embrace the opportunities and challenges it brings and strive to make it our best year yet.
|Reflection Questions||Resolution Ideas|
|What went well this year?||Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day|
|What did I learn this year?||Eat healthier by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals|
|What were some challenges?||Read one book a month to expand knowledge and develop a habit of learning|
|What relationships have meant the most to me this year?||Reach out to a new person every month to form new relationships and expand social circles|
As we begin to set our resolutions, it’s essential to reflect on the past year honestly. The above table offers some reflection questions and resolution ideas to get you started on your journey towards self-improvement. Remember to commit to your goals and celebrate small victories along the way.
The Color Red in December
In Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel, The Giver, the month of December holds significant symbolism with the color red. From the red sled to the red apple, the color red plays an essential role in conveying the themes of the story.
- Passion: Red is often associated with passion and love, and in The Giver, it symbolizes the passion and desire for life that the community has suppressed. The red sled that Jonas receives represents his newfound passion and freedom.
- Tradition: In traditional Christmas celebrations, red is a prominent color that symbolizes love, warmth, and generosity. In The Giver, the community celebrates the holiday as a secular event, and the color red is used to represent these same warm feelings.
- Danger: The color red can also be used to convey danger and warning. The red apple that Jonas takes from the basket in the recreation area is the only color he sees that day, and it symbolizes the danger and risk he must take to uncover the truth behind his community.
Lowry’s use of the color red adds depth and complexity to the story’s themes and characters. The table below summarizes how different items that are red symbolize different meanings.
|Red Item||Symbolic Meaning|
|Red sled||Freedom, passion|
|Red apple||Danger, risk-taking|
|Red ribbon||Celebration, tradition|
The color red in December serves as an important symbol, representing both the warmth and danger of life that the characters in The Giver must navigate. Through the use of this color, Lowry effectively conveys the novel’s themes of passion, tradition, and danger.
Cultural celebrations in December around the world
The month of December is a time of joy and celebration in many cultures around the world. From religious holidays to secular traditions, people come together to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. In Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”, December is also a significant month with its own unique meaning. Let’s take a closer look at some cultural celebrations that take place in December around the world.
- Christmas: This holiday is celebrated by Christians around the world to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is usually celebrated on December 25th but some Orthodox churches celebrate it on January 7th.
- Hanukkah: This Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, lasts for eight days and nights. It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
- Kwanzaa: This is a week-long celebration of African American heritage and culture. It begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st.
While December is significant for many religious celebrations, there are also secular traditions that take place during this time such as:
- New Year’s Eve: This is the night before January 1st when people around the world come together to celebrate the start of the new year with fireworks, parties and festive gatherings.
- Boxing Day: This is a public holiday celebrated on December 26th in Canada, the UK and some other countries. It is a day for giving back to the less fortunate by donating money or goods to charities.
- Winter Solstice: This is the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. Many people consider this to be the official start of winter and celebrate it with feasts, festivals, and lighting of candles or bonfires.
The Significance of December in The Giver
In “The Giver”, December is known as the Ceremony of Twelve, when 12-year-olds receive their assigned roles in society. This ceremony is meant to mark their transition from childhood to adulthood and determine the path of their future. For the protagonist, Jonas, the ceremony brings a life-changing revelation that sets him on a path towards discovering the truth about his seemingly perfect community.
The Bottom Line
December is a time of joy and celebration around the world, with various cultural traditions and holidays that bring people together. Whether it’s religious or secular, these celebrations have a way of bringing people closer to one another and encouraging positive emotions such as love, generosity and goodwill.
|Hanukkah||Usually in December (dates vary)|
|Kwanzaa||December 26th-January 1st|
|New Year’s Eve||December 31st|
|Boxing Day||December 26th|
|Winter Solstice||December 21st|
Whatever traditions you and your loved ones observe, may this December be filled with happiness, love and peace.
History of December as a month of transition
December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, and it is associated with various symbols, festivities, and customs. It is the time of the year when people set aside their daily routines and indulge in celebrations with friends and family. Throughout history, December has been a month of transition from one phase to another, marking the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.
The Number 7
December is associated with the number 7, and it has several spiritual and symbolic meanings. According to numerology, 7 is a powerful number that represents spiritual awakening, inner wisdom, intuition, and introspection.
- In the Bible, 7 is a sacred number that symbolizes completion, perfection, and wholeness. In the book of Genesis, God created the world in 7 days, and on the seventh day he rested and blessed it.
- In ancient mythology and astrology, 7 is associated with the seven celestial bodies, including the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
- In many cultures, 7 is considered a lucky number, and it is often used in games of chance and gambling.
|Culture||Symbolism of 7 in December|
|Christianity||The Seven Sacraments of the Church|
|Islam||The Seven Heavens of Islamic cosmology|
|Judaism||The Seven Candlesticks of the Menorah|
|Chinese||Seven is associated with the element water and the planet Saturn, and it represents wisdom, knowledge, and harmony.|
Overall, the number 7 in December symbolizes spiritual enlightenment, completion, and new beginnings. It is a reminder to reflect on the past year, let go of old patterns, and move forward with a renewed spirit and determination.
December as a Time of Heightened Emotions
December is a significant time in The Giver as it symbolizes a time of heightened emotions for the community. As the month draws to an end, the community celebrates the Ceremony of Twelve, where each child is assigned their life-long profession. This event brings both excitement and anxiety as the children find out what careers they will have.
- Excitement: The children anticipate this ceremony with great excitement as they look forward to finding out what their life’s work will be. It marks a transition from childhood to adulthood, and they see it as a stepping stone towards their future.
- Anxiety: However, the Ceremony of Twelve also brings anxiety as the children face the possibility of being assigned a profession they do not like or do not feel qualified to do.
- Reverence: Along with the Ceremony of Twelve, December also brings the Ceremony of Release, which is a solemn event that marks the end of a person’s life. It is a time for the community to show reverence and respect for the person who is being released.
The Giver also shows how December is a time of heightened emotions through the memories that Jonas receives from the Giver. He experiences emotions such as joy, love, and warmth, which are not present in his life in the community. As he becomes more attuned to these emotions, he begins to question the monotony and sameness of his community.
Moreover, as the story progresses towards the end of December, the characters’ emotions become more intense. Jonas’s decision to leave the community and take Gabriel with him is a reflection of his heightened emotions. He chooses to defy the rules and leave his comfortable life to experience true emotions and freedom.
|Emotions Shown in December in The Giver||Description|
|Excitement||The children eagerly await the Ceremony of Twelve, which marks a significant transition in their lives.|
|Anxiety||There is anxiety and nervousness about the possibility of being assigned a profession one does not like.|
|Reverence||The Ceremony of Release is a time for the community to show respect and reverence towards the person who is being released.|
|Intense Emotions||As the end of December draws near, the characters’ emotions become more intense, leading to a significant decision by Jonas to leave the community.|
The month of December in The Giver is a time of heightened emotions for the characters. It brings excitement, anxiety, and reverence as the community celebrates the Ceremony of Twelve and the Ceremony of Release. The memories that Jonas receives from the Giver also add to the emotional intensity of the story. It shows how emotions are a crucial part of human existence, and without them, life becomes dull and meaningless.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in December
December is often associated with feelings of joy and warmth, but for many people, it can be a difficult time of year due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This type of depression is related to changes in the seasons, with symptoms predominantly occurring during the winter months. SAD affects approximately 10 million Americans, with many more experiencing milder forms of seasonal mood changes.
While the causes of SAD are not fully understood, it is thought that reduced exposure to sunlight may play a role. The decreased daylight hours in December can impact our circadian rhythms, leading to disrupted sleep patterns and changes in hormone levels, which may affect mood and energy levels. Additionally, December can be a stressful time of year, with financial pressures, family conflicts, and high expectations for social gatherings contributing to feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Light therapy: Exposure to bright light is an effective treatment for SAD, with studies showing that daily light therapy can significantly reduce symptoms in as little as one week. Light boxes emit bright, full-spectrum light that simulates natural sunlight, and are typically used for 30-60 minutes each morning.
- Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression, and can be particularly beneficial for those with SAD. Indoor exercise options, such as yoga or using a treadmill, can be helpful during the cold winter months.
- Talk therapy: Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can be beneficial for those experiencing SAD. Therapy can help individuals identify and work through negative thoughts and behaviors, develop coping skills, and provide support during a difficult time.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression during December or any other time of year, it is important to seek help from a healthcare professional. With proper treatment, SAD can be effectively managed, allowing individuals to enjoy the holiday season and winter months with greater ease and comfort.
|Symptoms of SAD:||Treatment options:|
|• Sadness or irritability
• Fatigue and low energy
• Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
• Changes in appetite and weight
• Loss of interest in activities
• Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
|• Light therapy
• Talk therapy
• Antidepressant medication (in some cases)
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, please reach out to a healthcare provider or mental health professional. Support is available, and you do not have to suffer alone.
Reflections on the passing of time in December
In Lois Lowry’s novel, The Giver, December symbolizes the end of the year and the passing of time. As the main character, Jonas, becomes the Receiver of Memory, he begins to understand the significance of December and the emotions that come with the end of the year.
- December represents the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It is a time for reflection on the past year and setting goals for the upcoming year.
- The weather in December can symbolize the passing of time. In the book, Jonas experiences his first snowfall and describes it as “a magical thing, falling from the sky, swirling and dancing.” The snow can represent the fleeting nature of time and the need to appreciate each moment.
- The number 10 also has significance in December. It is the end of the first decade of the 21st century and signifies a time for reflection on the past 10 years. It is also the number of days in the December holiday known as Hanukkah, which celebrates the miracle of oil lasting for 8 days in the Jewish temple.
As Jonas learns more about the past and the memories that have been hidden from the community, he begins to understand the beauty and pain of life. December represents the passing of time and the need to cherish every moment.
|Kwanzaa||December 26 – January 1|
December is also a time for celebration and coming together with loved ones. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday, December represents the end of one year and the beginning of a new one full of possibilities.
What Does December Symbolize in The Giver?
1. What is December in The Giver?
In the novel, December is the month when Jonas turns twelve and receives his assignment as the Receiver of Memory.
2. What does the month of December symbolize in The Giver?
December symbolizes change and finding true meaning in life. It represents the turning point in Jonas’s life and his journey towards uncovering the truth about his seemingly perfect community.
3. Why is December important to Jonas?
December is important to Jonas because it is when he discovers his unique ability to receive memories from the past, and with it, the realization that his society has been suppressing important aspects of history and emotions.
4. What does December signify in terms of emotions and memories in The Giver?
December signifies the return of memories and emotions that have been long forgotten or lost in the present society. It represents the power of our past and how it shapes who we are and what we do in the future.
5. What role does December play in Jonas’s identity in The Giver?
December plays a pivotal role in Jonas’s identity as it marks the start of his journey towards self-discovery and his eventual rebellion against the rigid rules and limitations of his society.
6. How does December symbolize hope in The Giver?
December symbolizes hope in The Giver as it represents the potential for change and progress, and the possibility of a brighter future for Jonas and his community.
7. What lesson can we learn from December in The Giver?
December teaches us that change is inevitable, and that sometimes we need to look to the past to understand our present and shape our future. It reminds us to always question and challenge the status quo, and to never underestimate the power of hope and resilience.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about what December symbolizes in The Giver. This powerful novel has left an indelible impact on readers of all ages, and its themes of identity, conformity, and rebellion continue to resonate today. Remember to always keep an open mind and a curious spirit, and check back for more insightful articles on literature and culture.