Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Traditions

Winter is upon us, and the Holiday Season is in full swing! Between the shopping and the parties and the joyful chaos of families gathering together, take a moment for yourself.

Find a quiet spot, and relax. Take a deep breath, and try to remember the personal meaning behind the various holiday traditions that you practice. Think about why you light a candle each evening; or recall the story behind a certain
recipe you pull out only in December. Maybe there is a reason that particular ornament is placed at the top of your Christmas tree; or perhaps you recall your grandfather who told funny stories whenever you hear a certain holiday song.

Think back to where you were when you first heard the story of Jesus' birth - do you still hear it being read by Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas?" Does your great-grandmother's menorah - the one that was carefully hidden in her steamer trunk - still gracefully display the candles each year in your home? Are there elves on your shelves? 

Next, look for the larger meaning in the celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Year's Eve. Many of the traditions we practice connect us not only with our immediate families and generations past, but also with the world! Think about how many millions of people around the globe are doing the exact same thing you are, because you share a faith and a practice!

Recalling the origins and the intentions of our holiday traditions can be very powerful. Allow yourself some time to ponder these traditions, and perhaps journal about a special memory or insight.

"Holidays" is a shorted form of "Holy Days" and no matter which cultural or religious traditions you hold to, in the waning days of December we all pause to take notice of the Holy in our lives.

Our wish for you this season is that your days be filled with holy moments!

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