There is something about a holiday that isn’t all about how much money you spend – Hilarie Burton*
At this time of the year, I always tend to get nostalgic. The fondest memories I have of festivities are the rituals my brother and I would make. Christmas mornings were not about stockings. They were about the pancake breakfast we made for the entire family. My parents never liked pancakes but they cherished this gesture. The children this year started a new tradition of their own – to bake and make breakfast for the entire family on Diwali. Their homemade cake and the simple cheese sandwiches filled our hearts with more love and gratitude than any gift possibly could. Having conversations about gratefulness and counting our own blessings leads to a positive relationship with the holiday season.
I feel it is important to reinforce the meaning of celebrations and to be thankful for togetherness, health, love, kindness and abundance of joy we have in our lives. When 4 generations sit together for a family picture coming from 6 locations, 3 religious’ beliefs – there is a memory being created which is worth a lot more than the most exquisite fineries.
Why can’t we, in pursuit of the true spirit of festivities, share with our neighbors, engage in social volunteering, give gifts to the less fortunate or simply go and spread cheer at an orphanage? Or how about inviting our domestic helps’ family to have a meal with us, or play games with children on the streets? I think you get the drift…let’s think out of the box and celebrate more than just the holiday.
Stretching a little bit more, perhaps we can also model for our children how to be mindful of our impact on the planet. Can this year we reuse decorations, minimize waste and make other eco-friendly choices? I feel sometimes, in our excitement of larger-than-life festivities, we tend to forget the impact on our homes. I live by the belief that children always imitate even if they do not listen. They mirror our emotions. By embracing conscious celebrations, we as parents or caregivers can lead by example and instill in them values of meaningful festivities. By celebrating gratitude, generosity and environmental responsibility, we would have taught our children an important life skill.
* Ms. Burton is a famous American actress