This time of year I love to reflect on the past twelve months. A little soul-searching is usually in order, and the holiday season is a wonderful time to do it. After all, with the hustle and commercial bustle surrounding us, either we need spiritual sustenance more than usual, or we’re already more receptive to the genuine message of the season.
This need moves beyond religious boundaries. Peace on earth, goodwill toward men and women is pretty hard to argue with, no matter what beliefs we affirm.
This week I found myself wondering how the goddesses in my Goddesses Anonymous books would celebrate Christmas.
Some of the goddesses are churchgoers and some are not. Analiese is a Protestant minister, but Harmony is most likely a Buddhist, although her spiritual path has taken many detours. One thing all would agree on, though, is the developing Goddesses Anonymous motto. While the motto deals with ways to help others, I think each goddess would agree it’s appropriate to consider these words at Christmas, too.
Are we wearing ourselves to a frazzle trying to make the holidays perfect for everybody? Let’s say we’re not really shoppers, but suddenly we’re spending hours in stores or on the internet trying to find the ideal gift for everybody on our bloated lists? We’re worried about our choices, wondering if we should have gone with Gift B instead of Gift A. Then, already frazzled, we turn our attention to the decorating, and the cookies, and the cards. So many things we absolutely have to do.
Can we let go of just one imperative this year? Buy cookies or make only the ones we love? Leave a box of decorations in the attic? Worry less about the gift choices we’ve made and more about reaching out to the giftee?
Abandon perfection. Settle for good enough. Settle for fun-to-do. Settle for the parts of celebrating that really matter, and maybe then those traditions will come to matter to everybody you love, too.
This weekend my daughter asked me for a cookie recipe we always made together each Christmas no matter what else was happening around us. I was so touched. My mother and I had made those cookies together, too. Now she will make them with her daughters. One recipe, not a dozen. A memory across generations.
Are we so busy running from Christmas concerts to shopping malls to holiday parties that we forget to think about what the season means to each of us? Isn’t this the best time to just sit a bit each day and think about our lives, the months that led us here, the people we love, the goals we tried to set for ourselves?
Welcome reflection. Light a candle and sit quietly and think about the year. Consider the people we love and what we can do for them, some gift of ourselves that they might really need. I’m making a conscious effort to take ten minutes in the middle of the day to sit quietly and think about my life. Ten minutes is so little, and yet so easy to overlook.
Are we so busy with “things” we’ve forgotten that the holidays are about people, about relationships, about reaching out? I certainly let myself get too busy, but that’s something my reflection time has pointed out to me.
Nurture connection. What a wonderful time of year to call friends, to write letters, to invite people you want to know better to come over for those storebought Christmas cookies and eggnog. We don’t have to entertain on a Martha Stewart scale, after all we’ve abandoned perfection, right? Maybe neighbors would like to help trim the tree or listen to carols or play a board game and chat. I love to make breakfast, and having friends over to enjoy it with me is a new tradition.
I love thinking about the holidays this way. This simple goddess’s motto has become inspirational for me. Maybe it will be a holiday inspiration for you, as well.
Analiese, Georgia, Samantha, Harmony, Taylor, Ethan, Cristy and Rilla wish all of us a season of reflection and connection without a hint of perfection.