Yes, I do want to wish you Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas! But there is much more to say than that.
Whether you have celebrated Hanukkah recently or are celebrating Christmas today, or Kwanzaa tomorrow, the main themes and messages are the same. This is a season of light, of gratitude for blessings, (re)dedication to God, new birth, community and family.
As is often stated the holidays can be a stressful time. Some people are preparing feasts, while others are focusing more on having fun or relaxing. We might have to see family members we have not seen for a while – by choice! But this is a time to set aside those tensions and resentments. It is a time to recognise that we are all family, regardless of what we are celebrating. So we can all learn to live in peace and have joy in our hearts.
‘What if I have depression or am missing loved ones who have passed on? I am bound to feel sad.’ If this is you, I would say that although you have reasons to be sad, you also have reasons to be glad. Scientists now know that we can actually change our feelings by choosing to change them. We are not helpless in the grips of depression after all.
- There are physical actions you can take that will alter your brain chemistry and activate the happiness hormones, such as dancing to joyful music.
- You can choose to focus on the happier aspects of life, remembering the good times instead of ruminating. There are so many resources on the internet to help us do this.
- Then you can also speak to yourself in ways that bring you happiness, peace and joy. What we tell ourselves becomes our reality, so be very intentional in what you say!
So yes I do wish you Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas at the very least. While Christians celebrate the birth of the Jewish Messiah, I wish you all a time of conscious renewal, repentance and repurposing of your life.