While giving is often the focus of the holidays, it is actually a gate to something bigger. What that means depends on your beliefs and views. With the different holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice occurring now, each with its own purpose and message, give yourself the opportunity to move a little deeper into something meaningful.
If you are like me, once your holiday preparation is done, you welcome time to reflect. While I am no longer a regular church participant, I revere the values instilled in me from many years of studying and practicing and appreciate the rituals that help us search within ourselves.
I like to reflect on what is under the surface, and what is important about the holidays. Here are some thoughts.
Giving Is An Act Of Love
While gift giving as we know it today didn’t launch until the postmodern advertising of the 20th century, it is thought to have started as an ancient Roman tradition to honor the Winter Solstice and the god Saturn. It was not until the 4th century CE that the early church designated Christmas as the time of Jesus’s birth and gifts became associated with the three Magi’s offerings to the Christ child. And Saint Nicholas, a Roman bishop whose surprise acts of generosity, particularly to the poor, became a role model, especially to the Dutch who called him Sinterklaas, inspiring the creation of Santa Claus in North America. Gift-giving transformed from being a sacrifice to the gods in ancient Rome to a pagan appropriation by the early Christians, to a mass marketing extravagance today.* We have certainly taken all this far away from anything meaningful!
Even so, at the heart of gift-giving is an act of love. Anytime you extend yourself with a gift to someone you are making an energetic exchange that has meaning. How can you expand on that to show more of your heart? Make your gift personal and meaningful, add a note that expresses something sincere and loving. These are the details that show the true significance of the season.
Take Time To Reflect and Reconnect to Something Bigger
If you have a spiritual tradition you honor, now is the time to utilize rituals that take you deeper into your beliefs. There are concerts, carols, pageants, and services, shared meals, and prayer. If you are not connected to groups that offer ceremonies, you can create your own. What is important to you?
The Winter Solstice is always an opportunity to give thanks for getting through the darkest days of the season and preparing to welcome the oncoming light. It is my favorite day of the season, the return of light always feels like a gift. Take time to light a candle, say some prayers, meditate, and journal. Make note of what this time of transformation means to you. Connect to what gives you meaning with gratitude.
Reaffirm Upholding Your Values
Behind all the spiritual traditions are stories and examples of triumph over hardship and a belief in something important and meaningful that saw them through difficulty. Even if you are not involved in these traditions, there is something to learn from the process of honoring your own transformation. From when you were young to now, haven’t you achieved remarkable change?
What are the values you hold dear that have gotten you where you are today? Reflect on them. Being kind, gracious, honest, doing your best, giving to others, being helpful, cooperative, and responsible. All these deserve your recognition and respect. It will help you get through holidays with a more personal and meaningful perspective.
Realize the Ripple You Create
Notice that with all you do, you touch many people and create a ripple that moves ever outward. Notice from your most intimate inner circle how you impact those you love, your home and friends, your work environment and everyone in it, your community, and the groups you are involved in. Your impact expands exponentially!
When you stay clear and strong in your traditions that are important, you become more solid from the inside out. A beacon of light others can count on. Knowing you are important and how you think of yourself and honor yourself is reflected in all you do. Make it your best, so this holiday you are showing who and what you really are.
If you would like to explore this further, reach out. My Transformational Coaching and Therapy is a designed to help you clarify what is important. Go to www.spectrumtransformation.com and use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I would be happy to hear from you.