Tag Archive | tradition

Lesson #3 The 5 D’s of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa!


During my life I have come to know there are 5 D’s that can really make a mess of the  holiday or any other special time.  The first is DISTANCE!  So many families no longer live in the same city or even the same state or country.  The absence of a family member or friends can be hard, but there are ways to make all of that better.  The phone doesn’t cure everything but it sure helps.  Call your absent friends and family members, it will help.  You can also do something very cool and create your own family.  Blood is not the only thing that connects people.  Reach out to people you have similar interests with, or who are alone themselves.  Start some new traditions with your adopted family.  It can be magical and ease the sadness you might feel.  The second D is DEBT!  It’s a wee bit late to do anything about how much you spent on shopping this year.  But, if you make an intention to do things simpler next year, you and your bank account will feel much better.  Make an intention to be creative and make some gifts and spend way less.  You don’t even have to be creative to do it.  Make a list of ideas and you will be surprised how happy people will be with the simplest gifts.  Once I bought lots of quart size mason jars.  I got some scrap fabric and some batting for quilts, super glue, and construction paper.  I cut the fabric a little bit bigger than the lid, took some batting and glued the batting to the inner seal.  I cover the batting with the fabric and it looked a bit like a pin cushion but it was nice.  I cut out hundreds of hearts from all the different colored pages of construction paper.  You could cut out stars, whatever you like, but I chose hearts.  On each heart I wrote something, folded them in half and put them in the jars.  Here are just a few things I wrote.  “You are amazing”, “treat yourself to a good old fashioned shave at the barber shop”, “this entitles you to one big hug”, “Good for one car wash from me”.  I did hundreds of them.  Then I took a piece of paper, cut out a larger heart and wrote…”A heart a day keeps the blues away.”  I punched a hole in that heart and attached twine to it and wrapped it around the lid.  Those were the gifts I gave people.  Keep things simple.  I have never known anyone to keel over if they din’t max out their credit cards.  The third D is DEATH.  Most of us have lost someone.  The holidays really make that loss feel even harder to bear.  When I lost my dad to cancer I thought my life might end.  It didn’t end and I went on with wonderful memories of him in my heart and mind.  I have lost many people in my life so I have a special journal for them.  I write their names and start listing all the cool, wonderful, loving things about them and times we spent together.  When a special occasion comes or if an ordinary day happens and I find myself falling into sadness, I get that journal out and I read about them and all we shared together.  I will never forget them or stop loving them, but time has a magical way of bringing healing to us, if we let it.  And those we have lost would not want us to be sad.  The fourth D is DIVORCE.  If you knew my life story, you would find what I am about to write totally crazy.  I do not like divorce.  I really think it is way to easy to leave a marriage than it is to stay and put in the effort and love it takes to make it wonderful.  Now if there is abuse of any kind in a marriage, get out as fast as you can.  Divorce is even worse when children are involved.  Set an intention to be kind to your former partner.  Don’t let the children get all tangled up in the mess of it all.  When the holidays arrive, be fair.  It is hard to be away from your children, but when you are with them make that time count.  It’s not about the quantity, it’s all about the quality.  Talk  or write with/to  your former partner and decide together what gifts you will get the children.  Don’t try to buy your children’s love, it does not work and in the long run it will backfire on you.  Make the holidays as special for them as you can, because the holidays are for them after all.  The last D is DRAMA.  Avoid it at all costs by any means necessary.  It is not healthy, it’s not happy, and no one needs it.  So let’s say you are supposed to go somewhere for the holidays that makes you feel ill just thinking about it.  Make an intention and don’t go.  Share with whomever you need to that going there makes you feel uncomfortable and you will do something else.  If you are fighting with a family member and you are supposed to be together during a holiday make an intention to forgive before the holiday gets here.  If that is not possible, think about visiting the family when that person or persons aren’t around.  There is no reason to dread the holidays.  Don’t worry how clean your house is, or how fancy you have decorated things, or how big your tree is.  Relax and breathe.  Make things simple.  Simple is good, healthy, and healing.  Play games, sing songs, share your funniest holiday stories with each other.  Please remember, it is NOT about us at all.

Love & Peace Always

Sarah© 2011

hopeslifecoaching.com

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Lesson #7 Gifts, Santa Claus, and All That Jazz


It is probably fair to say that people are still out shopping for Christmas on this Thursday evening.

As I recall, I started hearing Christmas ads in October which I found to be totally insane.  I love Christmas but all the shopping and things isn’t what Christmas is supposed to be about.  I feel sad for children these days and as a child I remember hearing my dad say the very same thing.  So maybe some things haven’t changed so much.  I just wish kids were able to use their imagination or better still be encouraged to find some.

As you know I am a Jesus believer.  I’m not religious but I am spiritual.  So all the shopping and racing around looses me.  I make gifts as often as I can and keep my ‘Giving” list short.  Very short. I would rather give my time, clothes I never wear, some homemade cookies, or do some Christmas caroling in the neighborhood than buy things that don’t last.  Not that cookies will last, but folks seem to remember those.  🙂

Santa claus comes from a real man; Saint Nicholas who lived in the 4th century.  You should check him out, he was a very interesting guy and really gives an honest reality check to our present day Santa Claus.  Now we are all about electronics and gadgets.  What happened to traditions??  What has happened to our families??

Jesus is the reason for Christians to celebrate Christmas and with our infinite human intellect we have really messed that up.

I think it would be so great if no one could shop for anything until the week before Christmas or better yet, we had to make our own gifts to give.  Kids in Cincinnati are hungry and cold, it’s raining right now and I know that some are outside and they are wet.  But, no…we shop.  We party like there’s no tomorrow.  Kids write letters to Santa Claus and their parents max out their credit cards just to make sure everyone stays happy.

Take your children to a soup kitchen and volunteer.  Read them the Christmas story; the real one that is in the Bible.  Ask them to gather up all the toys they never play with anymore…clean them up and donate them to a hospital or daycare center.  Take them for a walk in the park and talk about what is real and hope filled.  I have yet to find hope in my computer.  Help them get their imagination in gear.   Make popcorn and string it up for your tree then feed the squirrels the popcorn later.  Make a gingerbread house from scratch then let the birds have it.

Traditions begin with us.  We pass them on to our children and if we are really smart and use our imaginations Christmas can really mean something again.

Love & Peace Always

                                                                                                             Sarah© 2011

                                                                                                     hopeslifecoaching.com