Along with its festive spirit, the Holiday season tends to bring lots of pressure to “perform”. Regardless of whether the expectations come from ourselves or others, many of us appear to be relentlessly caught up in that mutual material madness. And that dizzying treadmill of shopping, gift exchange, parties and “celebrations” does not end with Christmas. We are left still scampering with an additional month of “returns,” thank you notes, scarey credit card debt, and ten pounds of holiday “cheer”, heading our list of New Years’ resolutions.
I often hear people ask each other how they are “surviving” the holiday stress, as if they are in the middle of a painful and challenging experience that needs to be endured, like surgery . . . or a triathlon event for which they have been training all year long.
What if it could be different? What if the Holiday season could be that time of year that actually celebrates the values that originally inspired this time of “giving?”
And what message are we giving our children when we continue to personally celebrate the material instead of what is most sacred and holy?
What if we could take a moment, right now, to consider what we want MOST from the people in our lives. The feedback I get from my clients as well as my circle of friends and loved ones is always the same. We want to be inspired by each other, to be reminded of our blessings and to be lifted up and encouraged to live the best life we can possibly create for ourselves. We want to be appreciated for who we are and not taken for granted. We want to be told that we are an important part of these peoples’ lives and are valued for who we are at our core. And if we are hurting, we want to be reassured that our friends and loved ones will walk in when everyone else walks out.
Perhaps celebrating the holiday season could be more like eating healthy. Maybe we can get rid of the excess that only weighs us down and spend more time and energy serving what truly nourishes our soul. Gifts that come from our hearts and have a more personal touch seem to move us the most, like baked goods or homemade cards, hand-written notes or poems, photos or momentous that reflect an intimate moment of sharing. Just think of all the time, energy and money that we could save. Could we actually tolerate slowing down enough to just BE with each other, honoring our relationships with the powerful gifts of time, energy and attention and simply enjoy each others’ company?
If we are able to find our own courage to let go of all that stuff that weighs us down, perhaps we can inspire others to to do the same. Maybe we call all take hold of this timely opportunity to WALK OUR TALK and LIVE the very sacred values we wish to experience in our world.