It is my heartfelt belief we each deserve to celebrate this time of year in the way that reflects who we are in the present. That means celebrating, choosing to be alone, celebrating with family or friends, celebrating with spiritual groups, or not celebrating.
Being a creative spirit who marches to the beat of her own drum, several years ago it occurred to me that my true self did not require the past holiday traditions of my culture or family of origin. I decided it would be a self loving act to create my own unique holiday traditions. To determine what would work for me, I asked myself some questions.
– Were there any childhood holiday traditions memories that stood out as happy thoughts?
– What did I want to include in my new traditions?
– Did I want to include others or just include myself?
It became crystal clear I no longer chose to be trapped emotionally in the stigma of the holiday traditions of others. After all, I do not live my current life based on the way others live theirs, so why would I choose to experience the holiday season with the traditions of anyone else? Of course, if I wanted to do what others were doing, that would be appropriate, too!
So, here is what I created:
1. Because I am so connected to nature, I went into the woods and requested the elementals and nature beings to help me honor them. I was gifted with pine boughs and pine cones, holly and red berries, and a small log. I added candles around these treasures, creating an holiday altar on my hearth.
2. Each morning during December I dedicate time, compassion, and food to the animals I co-exist with in my wooded residence.
3. Each night I made a commitment to sit in front of the fireplace and write in my journal , honoring the Fire Element, by expressing the things and ideas that ignite me that I am passionate about. I also offered thanks to each aspect of what/who is present in my life , gathered all that love into my heart, and sent it out into the world to all beings.
4. Lastly, I made a decision to take myself to a Winter Solstice Celebration with like hearted people.
Reclaiming our holiday by creating our original, unique traditions and rituals can be a loving way to avoid stress of old memories that do not muster peace, and is a gift to both our inner children and adult presence.