I am proof positive that a person can be a semi-minimalist, anti-consumer, nonreligious, childfree person who lives in the desert southwest where it never snows, and STILL love Christmas. That’s because I don’t equate the holiday season with any of those labels. To me, Christmas is a time to celebrate the life I have been given and to share and generate peace on earth and good will to all people. And because so many others also celebrate the season in a somewhat similar manner, I think the vibration of joy, peace and happiness is amplified as many of us come together with the same perspective. With that in mind, I spent some time this week looking through hundreds of quotes about Christmastime in order to help me remember and share some of what I consider some of the best thoughts behind the holiday.
Some people are born storytellers. That’s why I have been, along with millions of others, a fan of Robert Fulghum. His short essays nearly always manage to touch my heart and remind me of what really matters in my life. So although I know we all have a lot on our mind with the holidays unfolding around us, I thought I’d share one of his short stories that will lead to what I am guessing we all hope to experience this holiday—and into 2021.
“One year I didn’t receive many Christmas cards. One fetid February afternoon this troublemaking realization actually came to me out of the backroom in my head that is the source of useless information. Guess I needed some reason to really feel crummy, so there it was. But I didn’t say anything about it. I can take it, I’m tough. I won’t complain when my cheap friends don’t even care enough to send me a stupid Christmas card. I can do without love. Right.
This year the Winter Solstice falls on Wednesday, December 21st, and Thom and I are invited to a celebration. I’m not sure what to expect but we’ve been asked to bring a vegetarian dish for the potluck and I’m guessing there will be candles involved. At first glance the experience might seem strange, but maybe it shouldn’t be. In a time when many of us excessively celebrate a old man in a red suit who flies through the air on a sled pulled by magical reindeers, maybe the solstice deserves more attention than we normally offer. In fact, when I thought about it, I came up with two good reasons all of us might consider celebrating it on a regular basis. [Read more…]
Earlier this week I had lunch with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in a while. Barely two seconds after we sat down, and even though December is just getting started, she immediately launched into how upside down she was about the approaching holidays. I did manage to get in a question or two when she paused to take a breath, but it was clear she was looking for sympathy, not solutions. After spending over an hour being as supportive as I could, I was relieved when she said she was late for another obligation and simply had to go. Of course I can’t point fingers because I used to be a lot like her. Fortunately, I have learned that there is a better way to feel the joy and peace of the coming holiday.
It’s no secret that the Christmas season can be very stressful. I, too, used to make myself crazy trying to squeeze everything in. But there are solutions for anyone who is ready for a change. By approaching the holidays from a more minimal or simple living perspective, we can each stay focused on what the holiday really means to us, without allowing the hype to drown us in expectations.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!