“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”
– Dave Barry, humor columnist
Thanksgiving has passed in a flash — the blessings were said, the Thanksgiving table cleared, and leftovers stashed away, as we rushed out the door to shop for Christmas.
No time to be wasted, the days are slipping by. Ready or not, the season is upon us. The candy canes and pre-lighted Christmas trees have been out for weeks!
We do seem to rush from one holiday to the next. This happens more than we truly acknowledge. We need to take a moment to breathe in the holiday season, to sit back and be in the now and enjoy the magic that is the holiday season.
Life is so full and busy.
Personally, the harvest season is my favorite time of year. I do my best to not rush through it. Being raised in Wisconsin, the Autumn season means a great deal to me — the meaning held deeply in my soul.
Our home and many others were decorated inside and out with the colors and objects of the season — the decorations almost as elaborate as the Christmas ones.
Not to mention, Mother Nature put on a rather stunning, colorful annual show to insure we took notice. Vibrant oranges and reds against the backdrop of varying shades of greens and browns. The stillness of the lakes and waters reflecting back the beauty of nature’s show.
And yet, nature moves on as we must. She shows us how things evolve and change. We are not meant to stay stuck in one place or time.
With that, I take a deep breath and put away the harvest decorations to make way for the greens and reds of Christmas. To clear the way for Santa and his reindeer.
So many rituals, traditions, and decorations that inspire us at this time of year. And, in a flurry, we pull it all together and embrace it one more time.
It is easy to get swept away with it all — the joy of the season and the flurry of activity. The shopping, the gift buying and wrapping, the sending out of cards, and the decorating and entertaining. So easy to forget about yourself in the process.
We tend to tell ourselves that we will take care of ourselves later. There simply is no time to worry about me right now.
And in the meantime, we overeat, overspend, and ignore the needs of our hearts, bodies, and souls.
I know this one well. I used to buy into it all. The season had so many obligations and traditions that I wished to embrace — AND make happen. No matter the cost.
Several families to please, divorce split us up and now we had more homes to visit — each one expecting us to show up and celebrate with them. More gifts to buy. The perfect Christmas card to be sent to a list of 100s. The house decorated to perfection. The cookies baked. The food bought and prepared.
The traditions and rituals that must be followed. They were, after all, what the season was all about.
And, the costs mounted up.
The costs to my body, my pocketbook and my peace of mind.
That is, until I ended up in the emergency room on Christmas, along with many other suffering souls. The wait was a long and painful one. I had a raging bladder and kidney infection — who knew I was to hydrate while I ran around making Christmas perfect?!
It was a wake up call to pay attention to all the obligations and expectations I was buying into — all that I was agreeing to and trying to make happen.
I wish I could say that was my final awakening to take better care of myself, not just during the holiday season, but year around. It took me many more years to say NO to many things I thought were sacred and my duty.
Over the years, my husband and I began to let go of one after the other of those supposed “sacred duties”. We discussed what brought us joy, and what did not.
At first, when my husband said he didn’t wish to put up a Christmas tree, I gasped in horror. Until, we actually didn’t put one up that year — the relief was palatable. Since then we have let go of many other things — the long list of cards to be sent, the obligation to visit every household, and the huge list of gifts to buy.
Our souls, and our pocketbooks, took a big sigh of relief.
Is it time for you to let go of a few things this Christmas season? What one, small obligation or expectation can you let go?
And, in its place, put YOU!
It is, after all, the season of good cheer, joy, and giving. Make sure YOU are on the list of giving this season.
In fact, put you at the top of that list!
Intuitive Financial Counselor & Guideatude Coach
“Where there is darkness, I help bring light!”