Christmas is this week.
I take a deep breath and confess:
I'm not feelin' it.
This is the first one in years that I haven't sent my cards out early (and by early I mean at all), stacked package after package by the door waiting to be hauled to the post office for delivery, or lavished those I love with as much delight as I could cram into one shimmery, fragrant box.
I have zero plans for Thursday.
Perhaps it's because I did not grow up in a home that honored Christmas or because I don't have children of my own or a close-knit community for sparkly parties, but it always feels like I'm dancing at arm's length with it. It's a little awkward for me, honestly, and this season I don't have it in me to go through the motions. It's the first time in years that I'm not working an insane holiday week at or near a mall and lounging in bed sounds like a great way to commemorate right now! At the risk of sounding like Mrs. Scrooge, I've wondered, do I just pretend it's another day? Do I give a discreet little nod at tradition by adding a lil somethin' to my evening coffee? Or send Merry Christmas texts all day while doing something mundane, like some long-overdue vacuuming?
What would a mystic do? How does one properly respect something that holds such meaning to almost everyone but feels absolutely foreign to me right now? How can I make it my own?
What I love about winter traditions and the intention of Christmas in particular is the sense of cozy togetherness with those you love. I love ritual. I adore the reverent hush that falls across most people—even small children, if only for a fraction of a moment when they creep up to a sparkly-lit, gift-adorned Christmas tree. It taps our culturally-waning sense of wonder. It is an awareness of something more. For a brief time, struggles and fears are forgotten. Usually there is laughter and, for a moment, everything feels like it will all be okay.
At least, this is what it is supposed to be. In reality, how many of us dread the “So what are you doing these days?” conversations or “When are you two going to have a baby?” Or we spend our energy staying on opposite sides of the house from those who hurt us when we were vulnerable and young.
I don't know what I'll do yet, exactly, but there is one thing I will give myself. I must. And I want you to have, too, along with a heartfelt, sincere-I-promise Merry Christmas from me:
It is PERMISSION.
- Permission to make this holiday season what you need.
- Permission to rest.
- Permission to not go.
- Permission to go.
- Permission to not pretend anymore.
- Permission to work through all of the feelings.
- Permission to create your own traditions.
- Permission to respectfully decline.
- Permission to slip away as needed.
- Permission to excuse yourself from an uncomfortable conversation.
- Permission to share your love all year and take it easy on the 25th.
- Permission to not have an answer.
- Permission to do it differently than you have before.
- Permission to set limits and hold boundaries.
- Permission to not rush around last minute but to let what already is be enough.
- Permission to not be perfect.
- Permission to be surprised in a good way!
- Permission to be gentle on yourself.
- Permission to not be as extravagant this year.
- Permission to be super extravagant!
- Permission to try new things.
- Permission to make it an adventure.
- Permission to be alone.
- Permission to __________.
However you choose to celebrate or not, may you be drawn ever deeper into abundant love, luminous truth, and healing rest.
How will you be spending the rest of your holiday season?
What are your favorite rituals and traditions?
What do you love about the holidays?
Are they hard for you? If so, how do you make it through?
I recently turned 35 and have decided to do everything differently from here on out. If you're curious, you can follow my journey on SpiritSoulEarth.com.