All of us at the School of Complementary Therapies trust this email finds you in happy anticipation of the upcoming holiday season and planning some much deserved time off for yourselves.
At the School we are planning to spend some quality time off including creating holiday rituals. Rituals are best described as activities that invite us to step out of ordinary time. They play an important part of our emotional health and well-being. Rituals may provide a sense of peace, feelings of security and an awareness of the continuity of our lives.
Believe it or not, we all have rituals, whether it’s that morning cup of coffee , walking the dog, writing in your journal before bed or going to church on Sunday.
How about taking a little time this holiday season to make your own holiday gatherings more meaningful? A great way to spend time with loved ones and friends old and new is to get together and make handmade gifts. These often mean so much more to the recipient than the store bought ones, especially in these days where people find time to be of such a premium—you are giving a gift of your time. It doesn’t take any longer to sit down and make some bath salts and bath bombs or get busy and bake some cookies than it does to go shopping in the mall.
When you get together with others, turn off the television and have everyone share a favourite thought of past holidays. The room will quickly fill with love and laughter, and it’s amazing to find out what stays in people’s minds. My kids always laugh about the year I wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve, last minute, in candlelight. I was last minute rushing (sound familiar?) and just decided to cross out the price on the tags of the toys and clothes. Turned out I used a green highlighter, not the black marker I thought I had. Each year this story is told and the girls tell of how they opened their gifts to high-lighted price tags and the room fills with laughter.
At our home we always take a moment before our meals to remember loved ones and to give thanks. This helps us focus on sharing our meal as opposed to just sitting down and eating, and this nourishes us on all levels.
What do you do? Become aware of the little meaningful connections you have with others, and start some new ones this holiday season.
Hate the season? Remember that people have been celebrating this time of year forever. It used to be the Winter Solstice celebration on December 21, a time to celebrate the return of the light after the long dark days. So, it doesn’t have to be about gifts and shopping, getting together with loved ones to celebrate the return of the light is beautiful. And, at my celebrations I always invite people to bring whichever gods and goddesses are meaningful to them.