Every year as the holidays approach I am saddened by the number of people who seem to have become slaves to their holiday traditions. Over indulging in food and drink, over spending, working to the point of exhaustion and extreme stress are too often simply accepted as the way things are. Most of us don’t even enjoy all the holiday hoopla but we feel pressure to participate. If you are dreading the holidays this year I have good news. It doesn’t have to be this way.
You can choose the way you will celebrate, the activities you will participate in and of course you always have the power to choose your attitude. So get ready to make this the best holiday season ever by staying true to your own beliefs and values.
Honor your spiritual, ethnic or family traditions. Read from the sacred texts of your faith, sing the songs, eat the traditional foods, watch the classic holiday movies you watched as a child with your children.
Remember celebration is a state of mind. All the other stuff — elaborate gifts, food and drink, excessive spending is optional. Money is not required to express the joy of the season.
Even the rushed, busy, non stop flurry of activity is a choice. So this year, try just slowing down. Life will still go on. The holidays will still go on. Take a deep breath and remember what this season means to you. This could be your most meaningful holiday yet.
It is no accident the greatest light holidays of humankind fall during times that for many people of the world are cold and dark. As the days grow shorter and the weather become colder we need that little glimmer of hope that Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanza and others bring to us.
This year times seem especially dark and hopeless for many. Hunger, lost jobs, homes and the dreams that went with them leave many struggling in a world that is calling out, no screaming for the light.
But there is good news! We are the guardians of that light we yearn for. So this holiday season help spread the light. Watch this blog for ways you can do your part in bringing light back to a dark world.