By Carisa Holmes ~
While for many, the holidays bring joy and excitement, for some, they can be stressful or even painful. Depression or anxiety around the holidays can arise because of financial pressures, grief from loss of family members, loneliness, religious issues, or other factors.
Alternatively, holiday stress could be something more existential; if one does not feel connected to what they are celebrating, and why, the container that would be home for the holiday spirit cannot exist.
The American holiday season, like most things American, is a melting pot of many contributions. Newer traditions like Kwanzaa live alongside ancient ones like Hanukkah, and the blending of traditions, like the Christian Christmas peppered with elements from earlier traditions such as Yule and Pagan solstice celebrations, is increasingly common.
Around the world, over thirty different observances and festivals are being celebrated during the end of one year and into the beginning of the next. With all of the borrowing and blending, it can become difficult to remember why we do the things we do, and how to feel the passion of that original intention in our hearts.
What are we celebrating, and why?
Some of us get into routines and traditions and keep repeating them just because it’s what we have always done. Most are reluctant to upset the apple cart by inviting others to think about why, and possibly suggesting change.
However, we always have the potential to connect more deeply, and to feel the truth of our intentions and actions in our hearts. Connecting with meaning brings joy to our hearts, and motivates us to act with genuine generosity, compassion and kindness.
You are invited to reflect on your experience this holiday season. What did you enjoy the most, and why? What was the foundational reason for your rituals and celebration? How can you bring more meaning to future holiday seasons by connecting with your own passions, and sharing them with your loved ones?
Here’s to more meaning, more truth, and more light for you and yours in 2017 and in seasons to come.