Intentional Changes to Make the Holidays Better
‘2020 has been a year like no other and as we come through the final bend and head towards the holiday season, we’re being asked to reimagine our festive celebrations.
For many this means spending time away from parents and extended family or unable to travel back to your home country. While acknowledging the downsides and sadness this may bring, what if some of the changes you’re making actually help make the holidays better?
Try brainstorming the upsides of these changes with family or friends. What comes up for you all as you share together?
How are you going to spend your time?
Permission to do things differently allows us to be more playful. Having less structure means less restrictions and we find we have the ability to enter new spaces that are fun.
Creativity allows us to open our minds and our hearts.
This year my adult sons have taken over the role of baking ‘Mailanderli’, a traditional Swiss Christmas biscuit. My Swiss mother-in-law would dedicate an afternoon at her home to bake with the boys when they were young. It was relaxing, messy and chatty – just them and their grandmother without me. Every year they chose to continue the tradition, even as young adults.
However, this year is different. The baton has been passed on. I imagine it will be loud, fun, a little competitive – and rediscovered memories may emerge as they roll out the dough, choose their favourite pastry cutters and glaze the dough with egg.
How else are you going to spend your time?
I’ve noticed and felt the collective weariness in people over these past months.
Perhaps permission to do things differently means relaxing in a way that you’ve never had a chance to do before, especially if you usually travel or host during the holidays.
Having time and space to snuggle up and relax completely, wholeheartedly. This is powerful, grounding and nurturing, so different from collapsing at the end of a long day with a mind that keeps looping.
Allow yourself deep rest and renewal.
For those who feel the separation of loved ones and your role as host, here’s an invitation to being human:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
I hope your holiday season inspires you to be creative in finding rest and renewal.
How are you doing things differently this year? I’d love to hear, share with me and let me know.
One of the real pleasures at this time of year is the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate connection. I welcome and value our connection, thank you for being here.
Warmest thoughts for this festive time. May you and your loved ones feel cherished, healthy and well.