Archive for Christmas

The Art of Gift Giving

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“We do Christmas exceptionally well,” I remarked to my husband and two adult children at the end of this year’s long, leisurely, soul-filling day.

Christmas Day is one of my favorite days of the year, because it’s one day where we are all together, and we take our time with everything. My son usually goes to his best friend’s Mexican Christmas Eve party, where the gift exchanges don’t start until midnight and the party lasts until 3a.m. or later. So he was sleeping in on Christmas Day.

That was great. It gave the rest of us time to move through our usual morning routines. I do my morning pages (three pages of longhand on whatever comes to mind–a great way to get through any unprocessed issues and start the day off receptive to the new). Then I do my meditative readings (mostly Scripture and other inspirational/devotional reading), while using the Halo. Then, breakfast, my Healing Codes/healing prayer method (you’ll be hearing more about that), and my walk. Finally, shower and dress, and I’m all ready for the world.

This morning, Christmas, I also made our traditional Christmas breakfast, blueberry coffeecake. I stuffed the turkey and put it in the oven. We made our way slowly through the hours, eating the coffeecake, preparing more food, hanging out, chatting. Finally, just when the turkey was done, everyone was finally ready to open presents! Oh well. I left the turkey in the oven on warm and we opened our gifts.

We take our time with that, too. Christine was the resident present-passer, and we unwrapped each present, one at a time, taking turns.

This year it struck me that there is an art to gift giving. It is really about honoring the relationship. When I receive a thoughtful gift from someone, what makes me feel loved is that they actually saw who I am, and carefully picked out something they knew I would like. And it cost them something: money, the time to shop.

Let me give you some examples. Read More→

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Holiday Stress Rx

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imperfect Christmas tree

As you can see, another thing I don’t do well is take pictures with my iphone!

Yesterday morning, I was chatting with a small group of friends about Christmas preparations.

We were in my living room, where the Christmas tree stood, adorned with only lights. I explained how it was a lit tree, but this year, only the middle lights worked. We’ve had a heck of a time finding lights to fill in the spaces. All the new lights are LED, or 300 per string. Neither my husband nor I care to spend loads of time looking for lights. So there the tree stands as we decide whether this is enough lights, or we need more, before I put on the decorations.

One woman said last year, she never got around to putting on the ornaments. She just likes the lights. That may be what I do. And though all 4 other women agreed that my tree needs more lights, I just may say, “Enough.”

And then one of my friends said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly.”

We all kind of cringed at this. We’re all women with lots of responsibilities and high standards. We’d like to believe this … but it’s not so easy.

We laughed when someone said, “G.K. Chesterton said that,” because we all believe him to have been a very wise man, so that means we can really believe it.

Why am I telling you this? Because so many of us have these unconscious, high standards that keep us in overwhelm or guilt. Especially at this time of the year.

Somewhere in our subconscious (Heart), there is this image of The Ideal. Perhaps it’s the kind of Christmas you grew up with, and your images are all rosy, and you want to recreate that for your family.

Or, on the flip side, maybe your holiday memories are so painful, you want to do everything possible to create a perfect holiday season for your family now.

I remember when my image of The Ideal was born. It was in my senior year of high school, with a teacher I admired. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but she put forth the image of a really fine, admirable person as someone who “does all things well.” Unconsciously, I absorbed that image into the kind of person I wanted to be.

It’s been hard to let that person morph into a more realistic image of someone who only does a few things well, and is OK with doing in other areas just enough to get by.

I read somewhere that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve the level of mastery. None of us has 10,000 hours to master everything. Trying to “do all things well,” i.e. achieve mastery in everything, is impossible and foolish to try to attain.

This holiday season has brought out how I try to do too many things too well, so I’m working on this with my Healing Codes. I’m constructing a new persona that knows her strengths and builds on them, and is OK with “getting by” in other areas. I’m rewriting that old belief that the only worthwhile, admirable person is someone who “does all things well.”

So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, I encourage you to take a bit of time to reflect on what image you might be trying to live up to, or what unhealthy belief is driving you. Try to see if you can trace the origin of it. (But if you can’t, that’s fine—just address the feeling and/or wrong belief the any memories attached to it.) If you want help with that, I’m always here for you!

And if one of the things that’s stressing you is, “What do I give so and so,” perhaps  you would like to give the gift of healing in the form of a custom Healing Code. Visit this page and see the options.

I pray this holiday season will be one of joy, not stress for you. I encourage you to focus on the One Thing you can do to make this holiday memorable for you and your family or other loved ones. Ask what would give others joy, and then see what you can do to make that happen.

And then, let go of the rest. Forget Normal Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade; those sentimentalized scenes were never real life anyway.

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