Before We Stress about Christmas, Ask this One Question.

Prepare_December 22

“What the hell are we celebrating?”

I found this note today while preparing to cook breakfast for three children, written on a page in a tiny, handmade two-ring binder entitled, “Spirit Lifters: One for Each Day.”

Spending the next two weeks in Montana is my Christmas present to myself; being with our new, expanded family of five is Atticus’ Christmas present, too. But change, even positive change, challenges us to either grow in spirit or grow in anxiety. We have a choice, but it is not always easy to make.

Peace on Earth has a new meaning. It is no longer a matter of world peace or making everything appear peaceful on the outside. Instead my wish this season is for us to keep our peace—even in the midst of full family chaos.

This work is breath by breath—and it is the best gift we can give our children.

Mindful parenting is not a philosophy, it is a practice.  It requires us to show up every moment open and aware, ready to act rather than react. By modeling kindness and love, we teach kindness and love. And what better effort to make around the holiday season.

Our hearts are healing.
They heal every time we show love and not anger.
They heal every time we exhale deeply and begin again when we feel we can’t go on.
They heal every time we let go of expectations of perfection to embrace the beautiful chaos that family life brings.
Our hearts heal every time we let go and feel what is actually happening in and around us.

The spirit of Christmas exists. It is the awe of unknowing, the mystery of something greater and more expansive than we can comprehend. We may not choose to put Christ back in Christmas, but it would serve us to get clear what we are celebrating. Our intention this holiday season will determine how we experience the coming days.

All the details, the shopping and the trimmings, aren’t half as important as what is in our hearts and how we show up for the ones we love.

The Practice:

Ask the question: “What are we celebrating?
Let your answer guide you home.

Atticus_Christmas Spirit_2014

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