update 2016: I realized that with all the insanity going on in the world, we need to focus on being part of the solution more than ever. The holidays can be a dark time for many people in a GOOD YEAR. So, find your light and share it generously this year. We all need it!
Why is it that I don’t really get into the spirit of the season until the tree is up? And yet I resist this event every year. I used to be such a control freak about decorating the tree. Every ornament had meaning and had to be put in that perfect place. Wow, I’m so over it . . . I gave up control of the tree a few years ago and it just gets better every year. I even let my husband pick it out without me this year! That took a little bit of faith, but he came home with a sweet beauty.
Yes, we do the real thing. I’m pretty sure the fake vs. real debate generally falls into ‘real is better’ category. Most of the real trees that are sold as Christmas trees, are raised specifically for that purpose and are not trees taken out of the forest, and there are a lot of nasty reasons the fake ones just aren’t good for you or the environment.
I love the smell too. But mostly I adore the lights. Every year, I have a ritual of turning off all the lights, except for the ones on the Christmas tree, and I sit quietly (sometimes there is Christmas music involved), and I have a good cry reminiscing about all the Christmas’ past and all those who are gone. Yea, it’s weird, but it always feels good to honor my personal history and those that I won’t celebrate with this season. Christmas was a big family gathering event for me growing up and my mother and father were so good at making the magic happen. I cry partially because I’m selfishly wishing I could be that innocent child full of wondrous expectations again. It doesn’t last long, then I mop myself up and the rest of the holiday is all about trying to make magic for my own family.
I always come away from this weepy moment with gratitude and a sense of lightness.
Light. I am often reminded from the winter solstice that I need to bring it — be that light.
So, here are a few ideas for being the light for yourself, your family, the earth and anyone you encounter this holiday season . . .
1. slow down. Try not to get too caught up in the frantic energy of this season and pace yourself. Read my post about how to conserve your personal energy during the holidays.
2. breathe. Seems fundamental, but this is a busy and anxious time for many people and we tend to forget to take those moments to breathe deeply, which is a metaphor for TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF!
3. be generous of spirit. The best gifts in this season of commercial buying mania are often the gifts of time and energy. Make space to spend more quality time with those you love and those in need.
4. patience grasshopper. Again, I reiterate that this can be a difficult time of year for many people, so, try to be patient as you are out and about with the many others who are out and about. Practice number 2 and 3 when you are standing in those long lines!
5. carve out time for meditation. I know this seems impossible, but I swear it will help keep balance in this fun and crazy time.
6. honor where you’ve been. Sometimes, this time of year can cause us to compare ourselves to our neighbors or family members and this can cause a bout of sad self-esteem buggers. If you review your year, make sure to highlight the awesome things you’ve done and minimize critical negative self-talk.
7. smile. Make sure you find a reason to smile as often as possible. This is a brilliant way to share your light with yourself and those around you.
8. get your groove on. I happen to LOVE holiday music and it generally cheers me up. I REALLY LOVE Christmas caroling, which I haven’t done in years, but I sing Christmas music all day long (Yes, I annoy my family. Too bad.). I really believe singing totally raises my vibration. If you don’t like Christmas music, sing whatever makes you happy.
9. be kind to mama earth. There are a thousand ways to have a more earth-friendly holiday. See this GD post for just a few ideas.
10. #ShareATree. Yup. It is super simple. Green is Universal is planting trees, like they do every year, just for posting using this hashtag – #ShareATree. There are millions of great reasons to save and plant trees.
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December 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm
I love this. I do not celebrate Christmas but I am ready, willing and able to help anyone make cookies, decorate a tree and sing Christmas carols. I used to do all of this growing up and I loved every minute of it.
Love your tips and to breathe? Absolutely necessary.
I always wondered with all the cutting down of trees how they get replaced. Oh, and I used to purchase Yankee candles just to get that evergreen smell in my house. Never quite the same!
December 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm
Number 9 is often overlooked in the hubub of the season, but when I’m kind to Mother Earth I feel in rhythm with life. I automatically seem to do the other 9 things.
December 13, 2016 at 7:53 pm
This post is such a great reminder. It is so easy to get caught up in all of the excitement of the holiday season that we forget to be present and also neglect ourselves.