Holidays. Do you love ’em? Or do you leave ’em?
First off, a disclaimer. December is a really difficult month for me. I feel so much pressure to celebrate ‘The Holidays’ in certain ways by doing certain things. Hasn’t always been this way. But, we’re only seven days in and thus far December 2018 has been a doozy.
Today, I am up early, determined to repeat what worked for me yesterday.
- Write a blog post.
- Consider what my body & mind need before I do anything further.
- Write lots of words!
- And because this month has been so challenging, I’ve added one more item to the day’s short list: Make holiday cards.
Why would I make holiday cards if I’m feeling sad?
- Working with my hands to ‘make stuff’ invariably brings me joy.
- Also, I then have a gift to give away. Makes for a win-win situation!
I also got to thinking about unfamiliar holiday rituals. Celebrating in a new way can be so much fun! (Note to self: Celebrating in a new way can also help drag you out of the holiday doldrums…just sayin’!)
- I’ve lived in other countries (Germany, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada) and I’ve gotten to know people from many other cultures and religions who have willingly shared their traditions.
One of my all-time favorites was when we were invited to celebrate Santa Lucia on December 13 with about a dozen Swedes.
- What made this super fun was we were all living in central Mexico at the time. I had no idea what to expect. When my husband and I walked in the door of a candle-filled house, the men dragged him off to learn the song they would sing.
- Knowing I was a former costume designer, the hostess handed me a collection of white sheets, a pair of scissors, and a long roll of red ribbon and said, ‘Here. We need 10 gowns for the women’. With the help of mugs of hot glogg, we got it done and had a fantastic evening.
There are many more days to ‘get through’ until we reach December 31st (and I get to flip my calendar for that amazing feeling of ‘starting afresh’).
- New Year’s Eve might be my favorite night of the year. I developed a series of rituals that speak to me.
- First, I’m happy to spend that night at home, with the help of lots of candles!
- Look back. Do a review of the year, using my calendar.
- Become present. How does the past year sit in my bones?
- Look ahead. Bring out the calendar again. Write out my goals. Note specific goal ‘checking in’ dates. Put the calendar away.
- Make a special meal, open a bottle of something sparkly, and read a book.
Here’s to the rituals that imbue our normal days, and our special days,
with a sense of belonging.