We say a ‘merry Christmas’ – een vrolijk Kerstfeest in Dutch – and mean it from the bottom of our hearts. But maybe we should stop keeping up the appearance and just name it the way it really is by wishing each other good luck.
Because when everything comes together; old stories, new dreams, the ‘that’s how we do this’ -routines, perfectionism, stubbornness and rebellion, family history, personal finances, the hope, love, loss and the pain; our reality becomes a bit more challenging under pressure of the ‘Happy Holidays’.
For years I would slide into survival mode, keep my head down and hustle my way into that first fresh week of the new year. Until I remembered myself what this time really is about.
It’s a period of contemplation on where we stand in our lives.
Of restrengthen our energy after all we have lived this year. The energy is low, slow and inward directed. The light is dimmed and our bodies will natural ask for warmth and comfort in our food, the way we dress, the things we do and especially how we rest.
It’s a moment to gather, to celebrate the connection we have with the people we love and with our own roots. To find peace with the darkness assured that the light will return if we let the process unfold.
When I find myself in stress about what dinner to make, I remember it isn’t about the food itself but about being with the people I share it with. When I catch myself searching for a gift only to make it up to a set amount, I remember it isn’t about the gift itself but about showing the love and attention to someone I care about.
Remembering my truth is medicine; my stomach softens, my breath deepens and my mind eases again so I can be present with the beautiful chaos of it all.
It’s a true compass that helps me to navigate my own way.
Remember for yourself what the Christmas spirit means to you.
Ask your family members to do the same.
Together you can choose a way of celebrating that will meet each others needs. A way that doesn’t stretch your energy paper thin but will rather help to start the new year feeling whole, joyful and curious about what it will bring.
I wish you all that you need to make that happen for yourself. You know what it is. Just use your creativity to design it into your reality.