So many of the traditions I grew up with still live within me today. Now that I have children of my own, I love my mother even more for all of the special memories she created for us despite being a single mom on a tight budget. On Easter, the bunny left maps so we could find all of the chocolate eggs that lay scattered throughout the house. Our Halloween costumes were always fun and original. And there were always new pajamas to be opened on Christmas Eve night. It wasn’t a lot, but it was more than enough to make me feel loved, and there was always something exciting to look forward to as each season passed. But most importantly, she taught me that creating tradition could be both meaningful and simple.
This year I feel a shift in how the holidays are feeling inside of me. I truly believe that this space, Annapurna Living, is shifting me. Deb Kern's article about transforming holiday rituals was like the deepest exhale. As my family and I create the holiday vibe in our home I feel myself letting go of my ideas for how it should be, and in its place, inspiration, simplicity and love are settling in. As my husband and children started to unpack the Christmas boxes and hang sparkly lights and tinsel, for the first time in my life I looked to the light of these gestures and realized I need this light. I need this sparkly reminder of the divine light within. Me, the one born with a sunny disposition, needs some warmth from this place we call home.
I am blessed with a partner who took it on and started hanging those lights and didn't wait for me to bring it on—thank god. Our children are old enough to do so much of it, and to see the tree decorated without my help this year, decorated by the hands of my littles who are growing up, leaves this mama speechless. I am truly in awe as my youngest puts batteries in Frosty the Snowman, a stuffed animal that sings and has been with us for 10 years now. Over and over she plays that song, just as her brothers did before her. The cheap plastic light-up train reminds me of my eldest and his deep love for trains way back when. It has a new location this year, and when we plugged it in for the first time this season it may as well have been a piece of art the way it lit my soul. My middle child, always so helpful, lives the spirit of this time and I'm reminded of the year he drew a stick figure guy over and over again and wrapped then as gifts for everyone.
I am humbled again and again.
The true gifts of this season:
- :the light in the dark:
- :the spirit of love and hope
Every action I do this holiday season I crave to do out of a deep longing to connect—to myself, to my family, to humanity. If I come from this space, this desire for connection, then how I do everything shifts ...
- I am choosing to buy gifts from artists instead of corporations.
- I am choosing to keep things simple so that I can be present and not in the craze of doing.
- I will share myself with those I love, knowing that this is the truest gift I can give.
As the women of this world, may we create lives based on our values and our deep desires. May we say YES to a life that is nourishing for ourselves instead of depleting. Living a life which lights us up from within makes the world vibrate with the spirit of healing and love.
With love and so much gratitude,
PS ... How are you saying yes to a nourishing life? Share with me on Instagram using the hashtag #annapurnaliving to connect with others creating lives based on our values and deep desires.