During the holiday season, families and friends gather and practice their traditions. When the nights are long, and the days are cold in the north, we spend more time together indoors. Gatherings are intended to be loving and fun. Throughout the holiday season, we remind one another to be of good cheer.
Unfortunately for some, the holidays are a source of stress. People feel stress around expectations connected to gift-giving, or they fret over feasts and gatherings that don’t measure up to extremely high hopes. People who are unhappy may notice sadness more acutely in the season of joy. They may imagine others to be very merry while they are not. People living alone, or a person far from home, may feel even more lonely at this time of year. And others believe that this season is nothing more than a time of commercial exploitation. Humbug!
If you suffer from stress during the holiday season, I offer an idea to help lighten your burden. When we change our beliefs, everything changes. What if we act as if every day is a holiday? And, the most exquisite gift we receive is this breath, yes, this one. What if we went around the dinner table and asked each person to tell us something they are thankful for every day?
What if we define gifts in a new way? We give and receive the gift in a smile, a hug, a phone call. A gift could be reading to someone, sharing a poem, singing or dancing together. What if we viewed our conversations as gifts? Will you give the gift of listening today? The most amazing gift list is endless when we stop believing that gifts cost money and come from stores. Love is the greatest gift we give to each other and ourselves. Give love each day and every day is like Christmas.
What if we celebrate the arrival of each day as if we are beginning a new year? At this moment we have the power to make change happen. What if we create graceful intentions toward a fulfilling life each day? The calendar is not in control of when we begin anew. Every moment gives us a chance for a fresh start. Celebrate the present. Every day is like New Year’s Day—let it be fun, let it be inspiring.
Perhaps you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year. What are your holiday traditions? What makes a holiday different from any other day? Find that answer for yourself then do your best to practice your holiday beliefs every day. Let’s cherish all acts of kindness. Let’s live with peace on earth with goodwill toward all.
What if we lived as if every day is a holiday? Let’s savor this day—this moment, as we remember that only now may we begin again. Today, to the best of our ability, let’s model gratitude and be full of good cheer. May we let love show in genuinely meaningful acts right now. After all, today is a holiday. Happy Now Here!