Do you have a special feeling for each holiday? For example when Christmas comes around do you get into a certain spirit? What about Thanksgiving? Does it spark a certain something? I feel every holiday has a certain energy and “feeling” associated with it. Some of us can feel the unique energy of each holiday,while others of us don’t seem to really experience that much difference between them. Some of us view it simply as a chance to get together with family. This can be enough and rewarding in it of itself, but truly feeling the energy of the day can add a special “spice”. It’s the kind of feeling you can talk about to your grandchildren one day, as they sit there smiling at you, imagining what that might’ve been like to sit in a room full of pure cinnamon bark, singing holiday songs, telling jokes and celebrating the day without cell phones and the TV blaring.
When you try to do the holidays as a new single mother, grieving a loss or dealing with a major change creating a holiday spirit can seem impossible but can be that much more needed.
I grew up in an ultra religious orthodox Jewish family, where we celebrated many deeply rooted traditional holidays. Each of these special days were filled with customs, special clothing, special foods, all producing specific feelings for each specific day. I fell in love with the special uniqueness each holiday provided. I had always wondered if this “feeling” was felt in the secular holidays of the world. I knew other cultures with deeply rooted traditions probably understood what I was feeling, but what of the holidays created by a country rather then a culture or religion? Can the same unique feeling come out or is it just another gathering of people eating good food and hanging out? And if that’s the case does it matter either way?
Growing up there was no celebrating the secular holidays, even Presidents Day or Memorial Day was not considered any different then any other day of the week. As I began to open my mind to new thoughts and ideas and ways of life I began to explore all the different holidays the world celebrated, what was eaten, the traditions, why they celebrated and the “feeling” associated with the holiday. I began to celebrate these different holidays but always felt something was missing.
What I found was although there were specific foods for many of the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween the unique “feeling” was not there. Even when exploring some of the religious holidays in American culture, the deeply rooted feeling of celebration seemed to be missing. I wondered why. What has happened? Was it ever there?
As I continued to explore I found that even in the Jewish culture, only a small percentage of the Jews still had that energy, scent, a feeling you can taste that specific spice for that day. I wondered what happened to us as a nation. Why has holiday time become almost like a quick TV dinner, with no flavor, feeling of love all over the home, an aroma you want to keep with you?
The answer I got is our lives have become watered down. Most of us eat our dinners in front of the TV or computer daily. We barely know how to carry on a conversation, texting most of the time rather then real communication. Anxiety is on the rise, keeping us away from truly experiencing anything. With this environment experience quality holiday aromas, a true spice of experience cannot happen. How can we change that? If we chose something different, what would it look like?
I invite you to do something crazy this holiday. Imagine turning off all your cell phones and on your long drive to family have long conversations, sing songs with your children and spend time in silence with your loved ones. While cooking your Turkey, close the radio or TV and experience what the house smells like. What does it look like? Can you buy special candles only meant for that day?
If you are experiencing Thanksgiving for the first time without your kids or it’s your first without your loved one, add something special that is about you. Make it a celebration of you, your beauty, your power, your uniqueness. When you celebrate it next time with your children you can make it about them. Creating a unique celebration of life on these special days, where you can truly bond with yourself, can make it not just memorable but healing and empowering to you and everyone you therefore touch.
Everything is energy and we can create the energy we want. By simply putting intention out and quieting our lives enough to hear, see, smell and taste it that feeling of that specific holiday will be felt and enter our cells so we can activate them next year. The beauty of doing it this way, rather then the way I grew up is you can hand pick each desired feeling you want for each specific day, making it even more memorable than a 2000 year old tradition.