This year, I really feel myself resisting the commercial holiday push. I deleted all the Black Friday emails as soon as they came in. I have not yet put up my tree. I'm not quite ready to listen to Christmas music. It's not that I don't feel in the spirit or feel particularly Grinchy. I've actually almost finished all of my holiday shopping, got my holiday cards all set to go, and have already made plenty of good-tidings treats.
More than ever though, I am feeling called to lay claim over the season in my own ways and rhythms, to be deeply rooted in what this time of year means to me, especially in the the eyes of my boys. They will find their own meaning, but I feel fiercely protective of that sacred space of discovery and trying to shield them from the raging commercial machine.
So this means a much softer easing-in on our own time. Wish AND give lists being scribbled. Glittered seashells and pine scented candles in the midst. Handmade teacher gifts that focus more on doing than buying. For me, it's dialing in the calm and the intentions, and resisting the store-bought story of stress and frenzy and buy, buy, buy. I'm trying to create a container for sacred celebration. Slow and low, that is the tempo.
Because, I hope this season's story will ultimately be about Joy, Grace, Giving, Gratitude, Light and Togetherness.
And of course I do want my kids to have. The holiday experience is a right of passage and magical in its sparkly abundance, and I remember that feeling well. No doubt, they will have for sure. Three Christmas celebrations within our exuberant womb of family, plus Hannukkah, as well as all the parties thrown into the mix ensure there is always loads of having in December. But what I don't want is for the having to overshadow everything. It makes me keenly aware of what we, and others in this world, truly need, and it is achingly not about any of the extra piles of stuff.
What I want my boys to have most is meaning and connection to these experiences, with memories and traditions all tied up with a shiny, everlasting bow. I know then, that they will have everything they need.
So decidedly, that is what I am focusing on giving them this year... something less tangible, less fancy or visible, and I'm completely okay with not being the bestower of the biggest and best presents. In fact, it feels almost necessary - to be the wild protector of their Holiday Spirit.
There will be latkes and stockings and a tree full of gifts, but more as the icing on the cake and not the main event. I'm so grateful and lucky that other people in our lives have happyily taken on the more traditional and beloved role of Santa. It's a role I have never really aspired to, and a story I've never really resonated with as a mom or have perpetuated beyond my kid's own curiosity and reason. We've always let them decide for themselves if they want believe, a value that seems most important to pass on, allowing me to be more of a keeper of thier own kind magic-making. Together we are alchemizing tradition, gifts, and everything handed down to us into our own kind of Magic, and what truly makes the season bright.