Like many, I love this time of year, the holiday season. I love the magic of the twinkling lights and winter tales. I love celebrating and honoring traditions of my own creation, drawn from my family, my ancestors who came before, and my own desires for this season. I love to cook and bake and feast. I love being out in the cold and snow, then coming in to warm up around the hearth.
And, of course, there are also challenging things about this time of year. As always, I find myself wishing I had more time. I went from hunting season and processing meat to multiple trips including a trip to see my dying grandma and now settling into the holiday season.
There are the challenges that often arise in visiting family and friends as differences are met, past experiences reverberating through, outside expectations and bombarding messages, or disappointment and grief when your inner expectations go unmet.
As you move through your holiday season, I offer you this guidance for finding beauty and intention, meaning and magic.
Finding intention & alignment during the holidays
This time of year is particularly loud as we’re bombarded with messages of what we need to celebrate the holidays from companies and corporations and as we may surround ourselves with well-meaning friends and family who have different worldviews than our own. Resist being uprooted by false narratives and outside influences of what makes this season magical and meaningful and instead find your own way to do the holidays.
To do this, we must know who we are and what we want. If that’s murky, spend some time looking for clues to what matters to you and begin to build out a vision of what you want for your holiday season (while you’re at it, you may even get clues to what you desire in the coming year). Even if you can identify one thing that matters to you, one thing you usually do that doesn’t bring you joy you can say no to, you can begin to create a more intentional and aligned holiday season.
Root into who you are this holiday season
You’ll likely spend some time this season in more civilized places that ask you to fall in line, conform, and be a good girl, likely some pressures to be who you once were, who your friends and family knew or expected you to be. If we go into social situations being who we know ourselves not to be, we leave those experiences feeling pretty bad, with lingering regret rather than joyful memories.
This year, choose to connect more deeply with your wild roots, your uncivilized nature, and practice letting an aspect of your true self be more fully seen. When you find a home within yourself and a deeper knowing of who you are and what you value, you’re better able to liberate yourself from social conventions and expectations. Being around others with different perspectives is a great way to feel your true self amplify within.
It may feel a little unruly as slight tensions at the differences arise, but letting your light shine is far more satisfactory than dimming down and putting on appearances. Be yourself and respect your values this holiday season. It’s a good time to prove to yourself, to honor how far you’ve come toward who you’re becoming.
The magic is in the simplicity of celebration
Our consumerist culture and all the products, offerings, and marketing by corporations have us feeling like more is better when it comes to the holiday season. Envy of what others have or how they’re spending the holidays can lead us away from what matters to us. We all know we’ve lost sight of how to find personal meaning in this season. It’s not about how much you do, give, or receive.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to give meaningfully. Keep gifts simple or handmade and focus on creating the memories and experiences you want to have over the consumption of commercial goods that are hardly necessary for making this season festive. Be intentional with what events and gatherings you say yes to and make time for yourself to slow down and savor the magic you find during these cold and dark days. Keep your own plans and festivities focused on what’s most meaningful, so you can go more slowly and savor this time.
Letting go of the pressure this holiday season
Many of us spend time looking forward to each holiday season and are sad when they quickly come to pass, often with sadness that we didn’t get everything we wanted. This time of year feels incredibly special, and then it’s back to normal everyday life. There’s an element of learning to move past special experiences and not putting so much weight on the holidays, but also, the magic of this season doesn’t have to only come one time of year. What makes the holidays so special to you and how can you infuse more of that into your everyday life?
May you wildly enjoy and savor your holiday season by slowing down and simplifying. May you be yourself more deeply than you’ve ever been during the holidays. May you spend the holidays your way, with intention. May you find your roots from which to grow each coming season.
If you enjoyed reading this post, I invite you to join my Tend the Fire ritual newsletter to receive weekly inspiration for tending the inner muse and connecting to your wild and creative nature. You can sign up here. To learn more about me or view my art and creations, visit www.brookegolden.com.