by ClareShale Mountain Star
As a teen my perception of the Christmas celebration was skewed dramatically by the gross consumer obsession that I saw reflected in the gift-giving traditions of my culture. I rebelled against this perception that I had of Christmas as much as I could, making dramatic anti-consumerism cards and sculptures as gifts for my parents.
In general the holidays were a stressful and anxiety-filled time for me because I was so busy protesting it all. (Which was of course the perfect thing for me to be doing at that point in time; I was doing my job as a Teen!)
When I began my own family, though, I began to soften my opinion; and especially as I deepened my awareness of the ancient pagan roots of the holiday, I really started to wonder what it might mean for me in my adult life to celebrate Christmas.
Having small children, as you may be aware, tends to make deep contemplation of historical, philosophical, cultural and spiritual phenomena a bit challenging. This is especially true around the Christmas season when there are a thousand things to do. Basically, for me, up until now it has been all about “Christmas Survival.”
This year though, I am finding, is different – because my kids are actually getting older. No one is potty-training and everyone sleeps through the night in their own bed! Now it is truly possible for me to think about a subject for more than five minutes at a time; and Christmas is even more important than ever, because all the kids are Aware that it’s happening – so I’m needing to step up my game!
I know it seems like I’m yammering on, and I kind of am, so I will get to my point.
With all the traditions, reasons to celebrate and ways to move through this time, I am feeling so happy about being able to “Focus with Intention” on the parts that resonate most with me. There are many different kinds of holiday energies floating around out there right now. I’m finding it takes a bit of effort for me to stay grounded with my actions, awareness and even finances all geared towards celebrating Christmas in a way that really resonates with me and my family, but it’s so worth it.
This is our first year lighting an Advent Wreath; the kids are so excited to light the candles. My 4 year-old is especially thrilled with the whole idea…it’s just so super-cute to see them get geared up for such a seemingly simple act. I know for them the season holds an incredible magic.
I am thankful that I can relax and explore Christmas a bit this year, and I am so thrilled to find that I have the inner resources to discover what is special for me about this time amidst all the possibilities.