I don’t think there is another time of the year more demanding of our personal space boundaries than the Winter Holiday Season. And make no mistake it is a “season” for it takes up the last third of autumn and the start of winter. I am of course talking about the BIG 4; Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years and the little known ones, some religious and some silly like Chrismukkah a blending of Hanukkah and Christmas from the TV show (2003-07) “The OC” and Festivus from “Seinfeld” (1989-1998), then there is the ancient winter holiday of Saturnalia December 17th and also Winter Solstice and recently other cultures have made public their winter holidays such as the African American celebration of Kwanzaa.
This melding and creating of new winter holiday themes is a recent trend and one I am very excited to see because the winter season has for centuries been the time of great celebration in every culture across the world and most especially important before the invention of electrical light. “The more the merrier“… I say. Centuries ago cultures around the world celebrated this time of year because it was the ending of a season; winter solstice on or around December 21 each year was a celebration of light to bring cheer and hope to the people while the sun went dark in the sky as the days grew shorter.
You see no matter what faith you possess, the seasons affect all of us in the same way at the same time with variations depending on where in the world you live. They have a tendency to bring us together and to meld our differences. For instance when a major storm hits like the Typhoons in Asia or the tornadoes in the US Midwest, it won’t matter what faith you are when the cleanup and healing begins, it will only matter that you are a human soul in need.
The same happens with the Winter Holiday Season. We all celebrate the end of a year, no matter which calendar you use. We all celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months. And we all notice the days getting shorter and the light growing dimmer, so we appreciate any joy created in the form of holiday lights, candles, feasting and gift sharing. The natural darkness brings us all to a time of self reflection as well. It is a wonderful time to go within and find our dreams and courage and once the New Year is launched to find the passion to make them come true.
The point I am making here is; just like the seasons of nature, the holidays come each year and we get to choose how to mark this time in our own way, in a manner that is best for us while honoring the rules of “shared space.” If you find a religious theme suites you best and your spiritual devotion is enhanced by this practice then follow where your heart leads you; however a word of caution as many religions want to say their way is the only way and this is obviously false otherwise much like the seasons changing the “one way” would happen naturally to everyone without anyone fighting over it all. Have you ever seen a war dedicated to changing Mother Nature’s mind? Not going to happen.
The same goes for if you don’t like the religious theme this time of year and only want the secular theme, or to ignore it altogether; do it your way while bearing in mind the rules of “shared space.” If you like the parties, the color and the food then join in and do it your way. Don’t let family, friends, co-workers or the promotions from stores push you into doing too much spending or feasting. Stay true to yourself, honor how much you achieved this past year and plan for the next.
If you just want the peace and solitude, claim it by turning off the radio and turning on your own recorded music, program your own shows on TV and find a way to sequester yourself while the rest are doing their best to party. It can be done. I have done it myself and with Mother Natures help – the cooler temperatures and increased darkness – it’s a natural way to live this time of year.
- Autumn giving way to winter
- A holy peaceful time
- Crazy commercialization
- The best source of income for many businesses
- The time bears and chipmunks hibernate
I encourage you to ask yourself what is your best way to mark the “holiday season; ask yourself “what do I need this time of year, what would bring me greater happiness and fulfillment?” Get specific, create a plan and go make that happen for yourself-your way and while you do, bless everyone else because I can guarantee you there are no two people marking the “holiday season” in the same way and this is a good thing.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©