During my young years of parenting, I envisioned a time when I could actually celebrate the holidays with a personal sense of meaning. A holiday specially designed, separate from the grandeur focus of materialism, gain and stress.
It’s so easy to allow oneself to get caught up in the suppose to haves during the holiday season. This is especially true when one has not yet defined their own meaning for the season. As a young mother, I was caught off guard. I entered into an overwhelming burden to myself.
I can’t tell you how many times finances didn’t allow for numerous purchases – not only for the children, but for the many others that must be included in the list of giving.
It’s interesting to me how I longed for my own meaning for the season, yet – I was not ready to own its separation from the seeming norm. As a young woman, I had many questions and uncertainty.
Needless to say, I danced the dance of holiday woes longer than I care to admit – surrendering my mind, body and my finances to stress! I could write a book about that alone!
Reality finally hit when a truck-load of unexpected challenges made its unpredictable arrival. Loss of income and the set-backs that it ignited was enormous! Saving were being spent on a daily living, which ultimately led me into making wiser choices regarding day to day spending. This of course affected the holidays too. The emotional disappointment was brief. I knew that the giving of gifts during the holiday season would have to be down to a minimal. A challenged that created a welcomed relief!!
So I prepared myself. As I re-evaluated my life and the environment that we called home – which was full of mutual loving acceptance – I also examined “how” I would explain to my loved ones that the holidays would be something different and creative this year. I chose my words carefully – forced to examine my emotions when speaking them (did I believe, or connect with what I was saying?). Instinctively, I knew that this was my window of opportunity to design my personal meaning for the holiday season.
To my amazement and surprise, my household was ready for the welcomed change. It was the year that the entire household decided to pull names from a box. Each person would be responsible for one individual. We all agreed to one specific gift – not one that the giver wanted to give, rather – one that the receiver desired to received. This, I thought was an exceptional ideal, as it gave us all the advantage of not wasting our funds on the excess of giving gifts that usually end up in storage. We each would honor and be grateful to receive the one gift that we really wanted. The family’s willingness to flow into a new meaning for the season was met with joy and unexpected ease…this truly was the perfect gift! The gifts that we gave to one another that year created for us one of our most memorable holiday seasons to date.
My personal meaning for the holiday season is not separate from my philosophy for daily living. I am aware of what’s practical for my life. I accept fully what’s uniquely mine (living without comparisons to others), and make the most of its meaning with gratitude. This is wealth, it is the perfect gift.
What’s your perfect gift for the season?
Live wise, live well, and be whole. ~Storm