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I've never been a holiday person.
True confession: I've never been a holiday person. I had a hard time finding my authentic self in any of the traditions I inherited. I learned how to smile my way through until January relieved me of the charade. When you are a child who is faking a happy holiday, it gets pretty easy to spot the other people in the room who are doing the same thing. I will just say: there are many, which is what made me want to write this.
When you don't have clarity about how you want to spend your holidays, you'll likely get swept up into how someone else wants to spend them. Plus, our culture will give you all kinds of things you "have" to do to have a happy holiday. I've heard almost every person in my life complain about "needing" to do something that they are actually choosing to do this month.
I am constantly developing my own sense of spirituality and magic. The teacher I rely on most is the natural world. If you've read Wintering, you know that nature requires most animals to hibernate. Hibernating conserves energy, which is needed to survive the winter. This holiday season I am making energy conservation my goal. What does this mean for me? Spending time with people who leave me with more energy than I came with. Saying no to everyone else. Understanding that time at home with childcare is more of a vacation than a trip without it. Spending the day in pajamas. Being rested allows me to laugh along with my family of four. It allows me to take a breath instead of scream at my toddler. It allows me to write. This feels like magic to me. Magic can come in any form that you'd like.
If you are one of the many people who hasn't enjoyed the holidays in the past, I'm here to tell you that you can make a different choice this year. You are the only person who knows what magic feels like to you. Creating your own traditions is an opportunity, not a loss. Coming to the table with questions and new ideas gives the people we love the opportunity to co-create with us. Your holiday traditions can be something that emerge, rather than something that is prescribed. Part of the magic for me is learning (and re-learning) that we actually get to decide. We are always creating.
Because the best advice always comes from poetry, I will leave you with this:
Barn's burnt down --
I can see the moon.
And also, energy conservation.
With much love,