Breaking Down Christmas

It had been only a week since submitting this article on the need to slow down during the holidays, and yet there I was- stressed and in tears over casseroles and cookies for Santa.  I still needed to buy stocking stuffers and oh yeah, we had to be at four different family gatherings, not including our own at home.

Breakdowns…I hate them when they’re happening, and I feel misunderstood by those around me and closest to me.  I have all the typical reactions (why?!  if only…!).  But breakdowns have actually become a close ally.  I’m serious.  Because a breakdown is so often the first step of a breakthrough.

My breakdown, my feeling tense and overwhelmed, that was my cue-I want new traditions.  This shift we are making toward higher consciousness, with new energies and creative forces ready to be birthed, it wants to emerge into every aspect of our personal and planetary life.  How I celebrate, how I spend time with friends and family, how I hold space for ritual and honor life’s passage, this too is the stuff of life ready to transform.  The question is- do I have the courage to trust the breaking down of the old and follow my heart toward the new?

I’m not exactly sure how the new will look.  But following old ways or what everyone else is doing is not an option.  What I do know is that for me Christmas is not only about the birth of Jesus, it’s also about the birth of divine love in all of us.  It’s not about running up to Target for the hundredth time.  The meaning of gift giving is expanding, as is our definition of family.  My gift could be my story or my peaceful presence.  I’m serious.  Just because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we have to do it forever.  In fact, 2012 invites us into something new.  I can just hear my friend, quoting Rumi- “The door is round and open, don’t go back to sleep.”

image from finehomebuilding.com

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6 Comments on “Breaking Down Christmas

  1. YES! I totally agree…just because you have done something, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it the same year after year. Just as life changes, the individual changes and so should the “tradition” so that it shifts with the times and the person/people. So goes the age old saying, ‘the only constant is change.’ I want my holiday to be a pleasant happy time, and if that means going to one less party or buying one less meaningless gift, well, so be it… Where along the way did we become so superficial and ungrateful? Why isn’t ones company gift enough? Seriously, that’s all I want – to enjoy the company around me and hope they enjoy mine too.

  2. Great article, Carrie! I think of how to make Christmas different every year, b/c the old, traditional way doesn’t work for me either. Here’s to changes in 2012!

  3. I totally agree Carrie. A few years ago Jamie and I had decided that we were not running all over different states to visit with family/friends and only exchange gifts with the kids in the family. That was a huge relief to turn the holiday time back into enjoying our family and just being present with them. This year was the best of all. Looking back now, I think “Wow, what a great Christmas this year.” It was great because we did nothing but spend time together and enjoy each other. I was able to cherish the moments and memories of doing crafts with the kids and decorating the house with them for us to enjoy.

    • How wonderful Lisa! What a difference it makes when we stand in the truth of what we know/feel without letting it get trumped by obligation,guilt or whatever else…!

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