I’ve noticed the past few days that I’ve been leaning towards being a Grinch this holiday season. You know… “Bah, humbug,” and all that. Noticing this and noticing how it felt…well, off, I spent some time meditating on it this morning. Here’s the pondering that come from it.
We have three holidays grouped closely together in my country of the USA — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. So, what are the true purposes/ intentions of each of these, or at least a way of looking at them that would be more empowering than the Grinch/Scrooge approach?
Well, Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude and being thankful for the bounty of life. One of the ways we express this intention is we eat a bunch of good food, see folks we might not have hung out with since the previous holiday season, maybe watch some football. Through it all, the underlying intention is to be grateful for life. So, I say we kick off the holiday season with a ground of gratitude… (and this can be true even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. After all, the holiday was just ‘made up’ anyway.)
Which then leads us into Christmas. What is the point or intention of Christmas? Well, the cynic (aka Scrooge part of me) says it’s all about making sure the retail industry ends up in the black before the end of the year, but that certainly doesn’t leave me inspired to get out of bed, so I look a little deeper. When I do, I see that for me it’s an opportunity to celebrate universal love by acknowledging the birth of one whose primary message was to love our neighbors as ourselves. So, upon the ground of gratitude we can build a strong foundation of love.
But what is New Years all about? Well, for me it’s about new beginnings — about acknowledging the year that has just passed and to bring a new sense of hope and possibility into the new year, so upon the ground of gratitude and the foundation of universal love, we can begin to build our new year to be the next leg of our journey along our own purposeful path.
May we all enjoy this season of gratitude, love and new beginnings, and be a little less of a Grinch or Scrooge.
Happy and Purposeful Holidays to you.