Christmas. Or as the language forward speaking among us prefer to call it, The Holidays. The time when the emotional baseline for humanity cycles from manic to depressive a mean average of 16 times before the cocktail hour. When we are capable of swelling and glowing with newfound camaraderie for Susie in the adjacent cubicle, suddenly unaffected by that faint smell of mouldy tobacco and mothballs. We escape seeing through our own fears and judgments and instead our inner light shines on all that is good, and true and loving.
Holiday spirit draws out our innate desire to give, our joyful expansive state, but that can also be hard.
We believe in something, in a small corner of our hearts and minds, that we might not otherwise. We dare to want and hope, just a little. And we grieve loss simultaneously. As everything merry expands, so do our hurty places. The same air that twinkles with possibility, leads us to dark corners of loss we need to feel but are out of touch with.
And it can also be hard on us, to keep up with giving the way the world has taught us to give. We all know that material goods have no inherent meaning. Some of us have stayed “off the material grid” so to speak, and that is fine. But for many of us, that is cold comfort. Shiny new toys are how we share and express our affection and love. It’s part of our tradition, and it costs dollars and cents. That doesn’t make us superficial, or foolish, or wrong. We don’t deserve our comeuppance, because we enjoy celebrating in the custom of our culture, because we like to see the look on a loved one’s face when they open the spoily gift, or the thoughtful, meaningful gift, that was NOT handwoven from the recycled burlap of a potato sack, but bought with the plastic credit card at the …drumroll…workshop of the dark Lord himself commonly referred to as THE MALL (dun dun dun).
I for one embrace the magic of the gift giving, a legacy from my mom, who reveled in the wonder of the child, and her own maternal gentleness, so much that she managed to lavish our tree with gifts in spite of being a single parent, and for many years a University student. Come Christmas, we made things, we baked things, we decorated together with great ceremony and a general order of operations that made life feel orchestrated and divine, and we squealed with delight when we opened our stockings Christmas morning and unpacked tiny little notebooks and sugary pink candies and always an orange from the toe.
And so she set the bar high, and perhaps way early in the game I set it too high for myself. But I wouldn’t give it up, not even the month where I feel like I am hooked up to a Redbull & meth IV, (it’s really just Coke Zero and a bite out of every chocolate in the box), and I’m remastering my Christmas Grandmaster list for the eighth time, wondering how I can get my hands on a real reindeer (just one), up until 3am, upstaging the Banff Springs with my Christmas tree that is so lit up Alien children are wishing on my star, and getting an eye roll from Martha Stewart for my overly competitive bow tying.
One of my favourite memories is from the year I bought my youngest a plastic pink carousel. It was not very high on the price scale as far as the budget went. But she was enthralled with that gift. The tiny horses with the even tinier dolls and the wind up music. She carried it everywhere with little Cindy Lou Who saucer eyes. Now as the children get older the ante is upped. It is harder and pricier to create the wonder. If I could give them one thing, undiminished and eternal, I would give them their own beauty and innocence twinkling back at them, a lasting feeling of warmth and home in their hearts.
So how do we navigate the season that promises so much, and sometimes exacts so much? I say it’s about finding what is right for you and trying to honour that the best way you can, with the least struggle possible.
Know that the magic you feel in the air is your own inherent goodness and worth. Hold it in your heart. Let it whisper through shop windows, warm your belly with cinnamon and spice. You are loved perfectly. Let it whisper this.
Give yourself some space to grieve. Draw on its courage to forgive the loss, the lack, pain. Give it to that higher love, to the grace that knows how to take it gently from you and replace it with a warm blanket, a sense of safety and peace.
And if I can give you one thing, undiminished and eternal, let it be your own beauty and innocence twinkling back at you, a lasting feeling of warmth and home in your hearts.
And a Cindy Lou Who saucer-eyed sense of wonder.
And a stocking full of tiny miracles.
— Love Erin
(and for those who suffer from true mood disorders, extra hugs, extra patience, and the keys to my moss-laded bear cave in Siberia as per my last post -may the world blanket you with extra gentleness this season).
P.S. Need inspired gift ideas? Stay tuned for my Holiday Gift Guide.
P.P.S.Need to connect with a deeper experience of giving this season? Join us for The Giving Ceremony, December 21st, 2019, details to follow.
P.P.P.S. Wanting to experience the power of your own intuitive connection? Stay tuned for Invoking the Goddess 2019.
The beautiful photographs are by Kristen Butler Photography