Take a deep breathe. Now take another. Pull your shoulders down from your ears and roll them forward, then back. Twist at the trunk, point your toes, and then flex your feet. There. You are ready for the holidays.
Well, perhaps it’s not as easy as all that. Still, the brief pause between Halloween and Thanksgiving is an excellent time to think about upcoming winter festivities before the crush of holiday shopping, travel, concerts, and parties begin.
Everyone has different needs during this traditional time of celebrations. Perhaps you are looking for ways to pull back from the more commercial aspects of the season. Maybe your family is interested in deepening the spiritual meaning of Christmas or other December holy days. Others may need help coping with loneliness, grief, depression or the “winter blues.” Or maybe it is just time for a change.
One way of reframing this time to be more meaningful for you and for your family members might be to take the “Unplugging the Christmas Machine” pledge (adapted):
Believing in the true spirit of these winter holidays, I commit myself to…
- Remember those people who truly need my gifts
- Express my love in more direct ways than presents
- Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
- Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
- Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth
So whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (Nov. 27th) or Square Dance Day (Nov. 29th); Chalica (begins Dec. 1st), or Chanukah (begins Dec. 16th); Festivus (Dec. 23rd), Christmas (Dec. 25th) or Kwanzaa (begins Dec. 26th) take this time in-between to hug a child, hug a tree, and give yourself some quiet time for reflection.
As for me, researching this brief article has given me some great ideas for expanding my list of winter holidays. This year I plan to celebrate Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day (Nov. 7th) Take a Hike Day (Nov. 17th), Ice Cream Day (Dec. 13th) and Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day (Dec. 27th).
Care to join me?