Ready to infuse your holidays with some spirituality and really deeply feel the impact of this time of year?
It’s too easy to get caught in the frenzy and rush with holiday parties, travel, and gift buying. But there's more to the holidays than eating and stuff.
Around this time of year in my old Florida neighborhood, I often saw a yard sign that said, “put the Christ back in Christmas.”
What does that mean?
To me, it’s about remembering the true spirit of the holidays, which is ultimately about giving, and receiving from a deep heart level.
So here’s my interpretation of doing just that:
1. Family Ritual or Tradition
Is their something special that you do this time of year with your loved ones? Perhaps you bake cookies to distribute to friends, throw an eggnog party for your neighbors, or maybe even go on a horse drawn carriage ride.
Whatever your tradition is, how can you really show up with the spirit of love? This year, before your annual event, set an intention to be truly loving and present with your guests and family.
If you’re ready to create a new tradition or ritual with your friends or family, the sky’s the limit!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share a meal together with special symbolic foods.
- Create a circle where everyone contributes something. Maybe each person gives someone else in the circle a compliment or says something positive about them.
- Come together to make gifts or food for someone in need. Think about infusing those goodies with love, healing and peace.
2. Honor the Light
All of the traditions at this time of year- Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yule (Winter Solstice)- are celebrations to honor the light.
Christmas honors the birth of Jesus, a light in the world.
Hanukkah is a celebration in remembrance of the re-dedication of the great temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the Menorah, the candelabra with nine branches.
And Yule, or the Winter Solstice, honors the shortest day of the year, December 21st, and the symbolic rebirth of the sun. This is why there are lots of fires and lights for Yule! Here’s a great website to learn more or get into Yule:
Remember that as we celebrate the light, we must also honor the dark, for without it, we could not see the light. Honor any darkness that comes up for you. Bless it and release it.
3. Visit a Church, Temple or Holy Place
There are so many wonderful services this time of year, from choir concerts to midnight masses, to bonfires. Check out the local listings in your area and see if anything peeks your curiosity.
One year, my family was in Cusco, Peru on Christmas morning so, my husband, mother and I all attended morning mass at the cathedral that was completed in 1654. The night before, there’d been a huge handicraft fair throughout the plaza. In the morning, everything was quiet, deferential. It was an inspiring celebration. The priests in their ceremonial robes, the massive silver altar decorated for the holiday.
4. Pay it Forward
This time of year is truly about giving and receiving. And we all know that when we give, it opens our hearts.
Who can you help this holiday season?
Think beyond your loved ones. Is there a neighbor in need? A colleague? How can you help in a larger way? Wanna make lunch bags for the homeless or donate to a cause you care about?
How can you really embrace that feeling of caring in your community?
Infuse your holiday season with love and peace, with true giving and receiving. Do this by coming back to your heart and remembering what this season is really all about. Enjoy and have a happy holiday!