I just love the holiday season!
I grew up celebrating Christmas with my family in Norway, and it was always such a magical time for me. As soon as the month of December came around, the countdown to Christmas would begin. The Advent calendar that my mom made, where me and my brothers could find a small gift every day, was brought out. The illuminated star would hang up in the living room window, and every Sunday up until Christmas we would light a purple candle for Advent. Sweet anticipation and excitement for Christmas, presents, good food and celebration was in the air.
Once Christmas finally came around, we would decorate the house and the tree together, get dressed up in our nicest clothes, and go to Christmas mass. The house would smell of pine, clove and Gingerbread cookies. And if there was snow, we would make little cone shaped lanterns out of snowballs, and place a candle inside them. It was a sweet time, and now looking back, it feels particularly precious to have these memories to look back on.
Even though I am now living in California, far away from the cold and snow of Norway, and although I no longer participate in most of the holiday traditions I grew up with, it is still my favorite time of year. As soon as Thanksgiving comes around, the joy of the season fills me once again. I enjoy the lights going up everywhere, the decorations in the stores (and decorating my home), and listening to carols.
Although it is the season for joy and cheer, cooking, baking, decorating and buying presents can be stressful, and rob us of much of the holiday cheer if we are not careful. Believe me, as much as I do love the season, it can get to me too. There are lots of parties at this time of year, and for us sensitives and empaths, it can easily get overwhelming. It’s just as important as ever to practice self-love and self-care, and make sure you get some alone time to recharge your energy and uplift your vibrations.
As much as I love the season, it can also sometimes feel a little bittersweet. When I look back on my childhood memories, I realize that there are only a handful of people in my family still living. On the one hand, it makes me appreciate the family I still do have all the more, but it also makes me think of everyone who is not here physically anymore: all my grandparents, my mother and my older brother.
For most of us the holiday season means time spent with family, and so the pain and grief for those in our family who are no longer with us, may be felt even more. So this year I have decided to start a new tradition, just for myself. I will light a candle at Christmas, as I focus on all the fond memories that I have with the family members that have passed away. I will take a moment to connect with them, talk to them if I feel that I have something I want to say to them, as well as listen for anything they may have to say to me. If you have lost someone close to you, perhaps you may want to do something similar to remember them in a special way this time of year.
And I will say this too. Sometimes we may feel we are expected to be happy and feel joyful during the holidays, but there may be myriads of reasons why you don’t feel that way, and that’s ok. If you have lost someone, or you feel lonely, or you are stressed out, don’t let the expectations of having to be happy, make you feel even worse. Acknowledge it if you are feeling down, and allow yourself to sit with it for a moment. Then you can think about doing something to alleviate it the negative feelings if you want to, whether it is reaching out to a friend, doing some type of ritual like the one I mentioned above, or something else that will help uplift you.
Whether you are feeling the joy of the season, or have been feeling more stressed out or sad, I do hope that you take care of yourself and give yourself what you need. Giving and receiving presents is a big part of the holidays, but first and foremost I hope that you give yourself the most important gift, self-love and self-care. When we take care of ourselves first, we have that much more to give others, and everyone will be the happier for it. 🙂
So take good care of yourself this holiday season, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, or something else, or you don’t celebrate at all, I send you my best wishes for peace, joy and happiness.
Love & light,