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A Meaningful Christmas

Dec 14, 2016

A Meaningful Christmas

Only ten more days and Christmas will be here.

Christmas is a loaded holiday. And it has become so commercialized, at times out of control. Do we even know what a meaningful Christmas looks like?

For many Christmas is a challenge, loaded with stress. Organizing and planning, buying presents, figuring out where to go and who to spend it with this year, or the dread of being alone.

For many it is a time when grief returns. It can be a reminder of past holidays where the family gathered together, and now there is emptiness and just the memory of loved ones that are no longer around. For my family back home in the Netherlands it is the first Christmas without our mom.

For some it is a time of longing for the perfect Christmas, with all the decorations and lights and gathering of loved ones sharing food and laughter. A longing for a Christmas that never was, a longing for the togetherness and connection that makes Christmas special. The anticipation of Christmas is filled with a mix of hopeful excitement and sadness, and a tinge of expecting a disappointment once again.

For some it is a time to be hopeful or bring hope and light to others. Bringing family and friends together and get reconnected. It can be a time to forget about our disagreements. Forgive ourselves and others, letting go of our differences and love unconditionally. A time for peace.
Some volunteer to help feed the under-privileged or donate to families that are less fortunate.

For me personally, it is a mix of all of the above.
It is a time of dread, grief, feeling hopeful but afraid to be, but I am also completely willing to surrender and let go of my fear and grief. Feeling at peace with whatever happens, love my family, love my friends, and feel blessed and grateful for my abundant life.

But what can I do to make Christmas meaningful? Giving meaning to anything, whether it is Christmas, a job, or any relationship, has to do with taking responsibility, focus, and intention.

We can’t just wait and expect life to become meaningful. We are responsible to somehow make it meaningful. Every single day. It has nothing to do with our circumstances, conditions or other people in our life. It is our job to give meaning, no matter what goes on. It is our job to somehow pick ourselves up, soothe and love ourselves, and give meaning to each day. No matter how much we hurt.

That can be really, really difficult. Because bad things do happen everywhere, to anyone. How can we possibly not feel sad, afraid, hurt, disappointed, lonely, angry, frustrated, lost, insecure, vengeful, unforgiving, depressed, victimized, separate, anxious, exhausted, stressed, unsupported, unloved, betrayed, defensive, resentful, hopeless, suspicious, and disconnected?

What can you do to make Christmas meaningful?
Christmas is not about what society has made it into. Don’t try to adjust to what you think you have to do. What is it you want to do?

Let go and surrender
Don’t hold on to any of these negative thoughts and emotions. Don’t close off your heart, withdraw, or hide behind your masks of pretense and a wall of protection. Acknowledge and validate what you feel. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad, hurt, angry etc. but you have to begin to let it go and surrender to your core: love. Easier said than done, but with practice it will become easier. Christmas is a perfect time to let go, take a chance to be vulnerable, and surrender to love.

You are never alone. We buy into the belief that we are, and that we have to do it all alone. That it is somehow a weakness to ask for help, or we somehow think we don’t deserve it.
Connect with your family if you can. Connect with your best friend(s) if you can. But above all, connect with yourself, go within, be at peace with yourself and who you are. Realize that you are enough, you deserve, and you are not just loved, but you are love. Allow that love to flow to you, through you and out of you to those around you.
Even if your loved ones are not able to receive your love and connect with you, they still deserve your love. Even if they are hiding behind their safe wall of protection, still connect with love in your mind, by appreciating and loving them with your heart. Sometimes the ones dear to us can be stuck in their own prison of righteousness and they’d rather be right than make peace. Don’t make that a reason to back down. Every human being matters. Don’t put up your walls too. Keep your heart open.

Get clear on what you want
What is most important to you this Christmas? Focus on that and be intentional about making that happen. Life is too short to just wait for things to happen. Our time here is precious but limited. Make this Christmas the one you will always remember because you made something special happen. It does not have to be big. Maybe you need to forgive someone or yourself, or maybe you have always wanted to reconnect with family. Maybe you just need to be by yourself and really explore who you are and how to be at peace with yourself.
The circumstances are not what make Christmas meaningful, you make Christmas special. You make Christmas, and life for that matter, meaningful.

This Christmas holiday give it your all. What others do is not in your control and it does not matter. You love them anyway. What others think of you does not matter either. There is enough judgement in the world. Let go of your judgments and your inner critic, and don’t give your power away to others by valuing their opinion more than your own.
You are worthy, fill yourself up with love and let it flow. Just open up those flood gates, there is so much of it.

I will lovingly remember my mom, my dad, my partner. I will love my family from afar, you don’t have to be geographically close to make a loving connection. I am celebrating life in a beautiful place, hopefully with dear friends, but no matter what, I will make sure I am my own best friend and give it my all to make it a meaningful Christmas.

Wishing you all a Christmas filled with light, peace, and love.
May health and well-being be yours in the coming year.

With gratitude and unlimited love,

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