It’s American Thanksgiving today and I bought a Christmas wreath. I’m making a special dinner and the house smells good. It wasn’t always like this at my house. Holidays sometimes would pass (Thanksgiving was easy to skip over because as an American family living in Canada the Canadian holiday came so early with less fanfare and by the time the US one hit, no one else was celebrating so it was often just overlooked) and life would go on as usual.
Lately I’ve felt like celebrating holidays. Not because the holiday itself is meaningful but because it makes the days around it special. I found that when I didn’t really celebrate my birthday, for instance, it was like any other day, which it is really, but then there weren’t any breaks. Time just kept running on and on and things didn’t stop.
Holidays work like breaks for me now. Ways to stop and pause for a moment. Taking a look around and making me be present to my surroundings, to other people, to what I’m eating, the weather, lots of things. So whether I approve of the holiday or not, I’ve begun to use them as tools for awareness.
So if you catch yourself feeling all Bah Humbug in the next few weeks, consider the options. We could just not have holidays and we could keep working and doing our usual things. But to stop and take a look around and do something different is healthy. (Just like stopping your work day to do yoga or meditation practice…)