Holidays: not just for Suckers

Season’s Greetings and Happy Freakin’ Holidays

Holiday 2012{photo:Robert Sturman}

Yeah, I like it. Christmas that is. I like Solstice and New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, and Birthdays too. Maybe I’m a sucker. Or maybe I just think that any chance to celebrate shouldn’t be wasted. I like rituals; simple ones like lighting candles and incense, toasting at a birthday or graduation and dressing smartly for the right occasion. I also like ones that involve intricacy and planning; Blessing Ways, Weddings, even Memorials.

Ritual invokes our attention, intensely. For many of us who struggle with staying present, a ritual or milestone event can help slow things down. They get us to pause in a very concentrated way.

All that being said though, I can get myself a little wound up with expectations. For example, I know that birthdays are really special to me – especially other peoples birthdays. I love giving gifts and making people feel good, so I get really get excited when my partner’s birthday approaches. Ironically though, he doesn’t place so much significance on it, nor carries around a special attachment to the date. I have found myself crestfallen when in the past, he’s decided to skip town on his birthday. SO, I’m learning to let that go… It’s his birthday after all. If I didn’t have such high expectations around how I see myself celebrating him (her, them, whomever) I’d spare myself the suffering that comes with disappointment.

This year, I’m trying to shed my expectations around Christmas. Not an easy thing to do for a ritualistic family-centered mama like myself. But that’s the plan. My kid is with his Daddy Paul this year, and instead of being with my parents and sisters on Christmas night, we’re splitting the holiday into Christmas Eve dinner (which we get to attend tonight) and Christmas dinner, which my BF and I will spend with our dear, dear friends the Murphy’s and their family. It’s pretty outside the box.

Turn it up-side-down though, and there’s a lot of good to be found. I get to wake up tomorrow morning and hold my man. I’ll get to casually and slowly open the presents he’s given me, and I’ll get to watch with my undivided attention as he opens his. We’ll have a quiet morning together and maybe walk down to the beach. My gracious ex has been kind enough to part with little G for an hour around bunch time and then I’ll get him back in the late afternoon. It will be lovely to celebrate with our friends, who are Griffin’s godparents, and were among the very first people to meet Griffin when he was born. I’d say it’s going to be great – but then there go the expectations again.

So, in honor of starting NEW traditions, I’m celebrating Christmas this year by teaching a pay-what-you-like Flow class at The Yoga Room. If you’re interested show up at 2pm, we’ll probably go until 3:15 or 3:30pm. It’s not on the regular schedule, and you can’t pay for it with your class card . Bring a piece of paper with one word written on it. Let it be the first thing that comes to mind. Bring cash, a re-gift, cookies, or whatever feels like a good way to contribute.

~Happy Holidays, Love & Light, and with few expectations,

Caitlin

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