It’s New Year’s Eve and the world is gleefully raising a glass to the completion of the old year and the welcoming of a new. It’s a time for celebration and revelry. Like an empty page or a blank canvas, the possibilities are boundless. Let the spirit of a brand new beginning intoxicate and entice.
Celebration on this day is of course an expected behavior. Observing all holidays, as well as birthdays, weddings, and other significant or material events, is part of what we as humans consider commonplace. It’s an integral part of life.
The mere point of celebration is to pause from our daily routines, our busy lives, and the expectations and demands from others so that we can express joy, appreciation, gratitude, and thanks. We suspend the ordinary so we may spend devoted time with those we care about, and rejoice in an occasion by marking it with something special or enjoyable. Sounds lovely to me.
It’s Christmas Eve and the promise of snow is on its way here in Chicago, enveloping our city with soft white pillows and intricately laced trees. What a wonderful gift to look forward to as we put last minute touches on our holiday feasts and festivities.The holidays can bring chaos and stress if we allow them to. Endless shopping and crowded stores, strained bank accounts and pocketbooks, pressure to attend every holiday party and gathering, and the added stress of travel mixed with unpredictable weather conditions. It can deplete our energy and drain our joy.
Instead, let’s remind ourselves what the spirit of the holiday season is about and eliminate as much of the unnecessary, over-the-top extras that really do little for our mental and spiritual wellness, much less the health of our most important relationships.
For most of us, the Thanksgiving holiday provides the perfect opportunity to step back, reflect, and think about those things of which we are most grateful. A wonderful sentiment and a lovely tradition, but an even better exercise practiced daily.
The ability to express gratitude can be challenging, especially when the world we live in has so much chaos, or we hit tough times and see others around us doing better than ourselves. All of us are guilty of wishing certain things could be different—that we had more money, a bigger home, could finally meet that special someone, could travel more, or buy those expensive designer clothes. The list could go on and on.
Spending just a few moments each morning or evening listing out in our minds or even better, on paper, the simple things that we are so blessed to have can be life changing. A roof over our heads, food on the table, good health, friends and family who care about us, new or unique experiences and opportunities, and just those small, simple moments—there are an infinite number of things for which to be grateful. Being appreciative of what we have now opens the doors to more wonderful things to come.
Halloween in my family was probably our favorite holiday. Besides the fact that for many years we lived in one of the creepiest houses on the block, a 100 year old slightly run down Victorian, my mother had a propensity for making it very special.
Every year she would line us girls up outside of her bedroom door. One-by-one we were brought inside where she would quickly conjure up an amazing costume with full makeup. My mother had an entire dressing room filled with old clothes and jewelry she never gave away, so her resources were plenty. We typically never knew what we were going to be, unless we had a special request, but it was always different and never something store bought. I’m not sure she even knew what she was going to do before we stepped inside, but as we waited in great anticipation for each big reveal, we were never disappointed.
For all my scary friends and family, I’ve penned a special Halloween poem just for you.
Since it’s Friday, I thought I’d wrap the week up on a lighter note. And given we’re approaching a long holiday weekend, even better.
Holidays in general get me pretty excited as they do with most people. You’re presented with the gift of an extra day or two of relaxation, enjoying time with friends and family, or doing absolutely nothing. The stress of work expectations and deadlines can hopefully be put aside for just a bit longer while you celebrate with good food and laughter, and recharge your batteries. The idea is that it’s a pause from the madness of a typical week. And who doesn’t want that?