Celebrating Beyond the Holiday Season

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Written By JohnBarnes

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The Holiday season is here! Store windows glisten with gifts and decorations; Christmas trees are tied on top of car roofs; the grocery is brimming with tempting treats; mailboxes are stuffed with shiny, colorful catalogs, and everyone is checking their list of gifts for family, friends, neighbors, and teachers. Children are singing and people seem genuinely merry!

So what is this joyous hubbub all about? During the Holiday seasons we take care of two very important needs: connection and acknowledgment. After a year of rushing and striving, the Holiday season is a time of giving: giving time to prepare a special meal, giving personal attention to each person in our circle, giving gifts which acknowledge our connection and empathy with the recipient, and most of all, giving love. We acknowledge those we love by telling them how much we appreciate them and how happy we are that they are part of our life. We gather our friends and family in a warm house to share delicious food, songs, gifts and love. We give love and look forward to receiving love back. What a beautiful season!

The excitement and joy of the season is infectious. Yesterday I was in the car with my three 3 daughters listening to Christmas Carols on the radio. We joined in the song”It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” We seemed to glow and felt a warm and fuzzy feeling inside our hearts. But I wonder, “Can’t we experience this all year long?” Why do we put all of our attention just on this holiday season? I am not talking about gifts, the decorations and the special food. I’m talking about the joy, the love, the celebration, the connection, and the acknowledgment of our happiness. Why reserve this joy for one month in a year? How about experiencing these every day, all year long? What if we created a living habit of celebrating in our daily life. Why not celebrate in the middle of the ” to-do list, errands, work, schools events, kids, not-enough-time-in-a-day season”

There are many areas in your life where you can celebrate on a daily basis. One of them is to acknowledge the good moments in each day. In the middle of the work, the errands and the chores, even in a pretty stressful day there is ALWAYS something that is working for you, something that feels right. Why not celebrate that moment instead of focusing on what we might not have achieved that day?

I want to share with you a little celebration ritual that I’ve started at home with my own family. Two to three times a week, we take to time to celebrate together our good moments. On the dining table sits a lovely Celebration Candle. We light the candle during dinner and everyone has a turn to share something about themselves, their day or simply something that makes them happy. My oldest daughter might say, “I would like to celebrate my progress on my knitting project.” My younger child might join in, ” I would like to celebrate the fun my friend and I had on the play yard. ” I might say, ” I would like to celebrate that I had a great connection with a client today,” or “I would like to celebrate that I took the time to play with my daughters today and it felt really good.” When each person is done sharing, we celebrate. The celebration can be loud or quiet and then we blow out the candle together. It’s a magical moment.

And by the way, celebration doesn’t have to always be ” happy, happy, happy!” You may want to celebrate that you are able to move forward a little tiny bit even though you have so many obstacles on your path. Or you may want to celebrate that after trying and failing you finally reached your goal. Can you see what a great role model you could be for your kids and the strong connection you are creating by sharing and celebrating together?

Another reason to celebrate is to acknowledge the people around you, and what they bring to your life. Start with your family and friends, and widen your circle of celebration. Celebrate the persons who help you care for your family and home, people you work with you who help you achieve your business dreams; the clients who trust you to help them achieve their dreams, and people who inspire you in your personal and working life. Take the time to acknowledge the role they are playing in your life. Stop, look them in the eyes, and voice your gratitude. I love to see the smile on my housekeeper’s face when I tell her how happy I am when she comes to my house, and how much she is helping my family and me. What a way to spread love and celebrate everyday!

So enjoy a wondrous holiday, and create a living habit of celebration every day in the New Year.