As featured in North Hawaii News December 11, 2017
Christmas and Hanukkah are almost here, and many of us will have the opportunity to do some celebrating in our own special ways. From gift exchanges to baking parties, connecting in a loving way with family and friends is what it’s really all about. I would like to tickle your brain with some thoughts on how valuable it is to really take in the details of those precious gatherings.
Many customs that we will be honoring have been passed down through the generations. Silent Night was written almost 200 years ago in 1818, and it still brings our voices together in peaceful harmony. At the same time, some new traditions are being created right this moment as recent circumstances and relationships expand our lives and open our minds to new possibilities. Regardless of how established these practices are, they leave a powerful footprint on our hearts.
A little over a week ago, my daughter and I joined our friends and neighbors outside in the rain for the Waimea Twilight Christmas Parade. We all layered up in our raincoats, gloves and boots when it was so very tempting to remain cozy at home. The floats and walking groups representing the diverse beauty of our community passed us by that night, and the connection between all of us in this amazing town left me feeling grateful that we upheld our tradition and were not deterred by the moisture.
Maintaining energy and focus these upcoming weeks by emphasizing the relationships that we are ever-building will help us all stay connected to the spirit of the holidays. A grown woman and her grandmother were talking the other day about how, in preparation for a holiday party, the granddaughter had pulled out the special platters that her grandmother had passed down to her. She spoke of how meaningful it was to her to look at them and recall many happy childhood memories. The grandmother got choked up by the tender words of appreciation spoken to her. It was wonderful to witness such a special interaction between the generations. And all it took was a moment to verbally recognize what those dishes represented.
Amidst the holiday season, many of us have days where we feel as though we are dragging ourselves through the motions while our spirits feel depleted. Trying to accomplish too much, along with the pressure of generations worth of expectations, can make this experience something we feel we just need to get through. Please take the time to refresh with some deep breaths and reflection. The one thing we can always count on is change, so taking time to pause and appreciate the people surrounding you may leave an imprint on a moment that could otherwise be unnoticed. Years later as you reflect on loved ones who have grown, or sadly been lost, it is those memories that rise up and fill your heart with joy.