The enthusiasm and the stress of the holiday season continue to amaze me.
Throughout my childhood, I was super excited to help decorate the tree and light the candles. Christmas Eve was an incredibly long, but loving process that required us to all sit in front of that tree with our huge extended family to open presents one by one. My mom would hand out each gift, one at a time for hours, calling out to each person from each person. It sounded something like this, “To…..Jackie, Love…..Mom”. Even though it took most of the night, we all got to see the excitement, the appreciation, and the light in each person’s face as they received their gifts. Not only was it a delight for the giver and the receiver, but also for each of us to share the joy of others.
Celebrations like these bring out the joy and the trials and tribulations of our families and communities. As an adult, I realize the amount of energy, money, time, and resources it takes to celebrate this holiday in the way that our culture has become accustomed. I see how much stress it puts on the parents, the family, the friends, and the hosts to make everything as right as it can be for all.
We worry whether or not each kid is getting what they want. Will the number of gifts be even? What do I get for the uncle I can’t stand? How do I pretend I like the gift my cousin brings every year? Each one of these worries is born out of the fear that the desire for happiness and joy of the season won’t be fulfilled.
I wonder what it would be like if it weren’t all about the preparation and the presents, but more about our giving light and love through the time we share and the gifts we give each other.
Perhaps in addition to trading presents, we give our true presence.
Perhaps in addition to worrying about serving the perfect meal, we fill each other’s cups with acknowledgment and gratitude.
Perhaps as we light the tree or the candles, we focus on how we light up each other’s lives with forgiveness and love.
As we celebrate the various festivals of light this season, we can choose to bring the light and illuminate the consciousness of love.
We can choose to see the Divine Radiance of every human Being around us.
- See the light.
- Be the light.
- Travel light.
- Spread the light.