Holiday connections

This holiday season is exhausting and each year it seems to be getting more intense and infinitely more depleting.  Regrettably, as I put my son to bed tonight after many hours of hectic holiday activity I realized I no longer knew why I was pushing so hard to give and do and be the best holiday planning Mom I could possibly be.  Who was I doing this for and what difference was it really making?

As I held my son’s hand, watching his eyelids droop, I turned off his light and another turned on, only this one was inside my head.   And with its illumination a harsh truth was revealed; although I strive to be a part of the solution, I might actually be contributing to the problem.  How the mighty have fallen.  Yes folks, I’ve missed the mark by a country mile!

Was I morphing into one of those types who would mace a neighbor for grabbing the last Boston Market chicken on Christmas Eve?  When had I become the type of mom who would climb over a helpful, but in-my-way red-shirted Target holiday employee to snatch one of the last Uncharted 3 video games for fear my offspring would forever curse my existence if they didn’t get everything they’ve been coveting on their holiday wish lists?

Clearly I’ve been drinking the Kool-aid, starting almost a month ago by putting on war paint and whooping out a battle cry with the rest of the sleep deprived hordes as we rushed like crazed 21st century cave men through Best Buy with undigested turkey and pumpkin pie roiling in our bellies.   Only instead of foraging and fighting for that last dinosaur thigh, we were hunting and gathering the latest greatest Xbox and PS3 games. 

So I have to ask, does perpetuating the holiday ideals we all hold most sacred in our commercially insipid democracy really give justification and meaning to our actions?

Let’s look at what rampant commercialism really buys us.  NOTHING!  The truth is, we’re just renting our lives.  All objects are impermanent.   Years from now we will be gone, our cars will be long converted to the scrap-plastic heap, the toys we feverishly purchased for our children will be discarded, obsolete and polluting our landfills.  The only thing we truly can own is our joy right now.  What matters is being present, forming deep, true and lasting connection to others.  That is eternal – whether in this lifetime or in the next.

Is it possible that the true purpose of the holiday season is to find connection, whether with Uncle Murray, with God-knows-what growing out of his head, or to Grandpa whose spirit we sorely miss because he has recently passed?   This is what I needed to remind myself when my children were screaming in the car, jabbing at each other with a new toy that I already regret having purchased.

But hours later, as the Chanukah candles flickered and I watched my son fall into a blissful sleep (blissful for me, because thankfully he doesn’t talk as much when he’s out cold), his chest lifting and falling gracefully, I gained some much-needed perspective.

As my son drifted off I held his hand, as I always do, and offered a prayer.

Thank you Spirit and Angels for the beautiful reminder.  Thank you for giving me these rare, peaceful moments when I can listen deeply and remember well what really matters.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to keep myself in check when I start to teeter out of balance.  Thank you for giving me hard situations, a whole mess of crazy, and daily reminders that life is full of challenges and homework.   And when all that remains is softness, heart and connection it’s easy to remember that this too shall pass.

Tonight I kissed my son and left his room, closing the door behind me.  Tomorrow will be another holiday vacation day.  It will be another 24 hours to get some things wrong and hopefully more things right.

Thankfully I will have plenty of time to appreciate and practice my sense of connection, renew my commitment to be present in each moment, and do my work before next year’s holiday season.

In the meantime, in this quiet moment, there is indeed peace, at least in my heart, if not yet on earth.  And, really, isn’t this what we’re really looking for when we pack our mace and head to Target on Black Friday eve?

7 Responses to Holiday connections
  1. Anika Cooper
    December 27, 2011 | 9:50 am

    It is so very nice and refreshing to read this point of view. Shira, you are an enlightened and blessed woman. Thanks for putting yourself out there and making a difference!

    • Diva-Mama
      December 27, 2011 | 10:13 am

      Thank you, Anika. What a beautiful and kind compliment. It makes staying up to the wee hours of the morning writing worthwhile!

  2. Carole
    December 27, 2011 | 10:41 am

    Goddess/Diva-Mama Shira! Beautiful Blogging! Happy Holidays! and “The Peace That Passeth All Understanding”. Love, Goddess Carole.

    • Diva-Mama
      December 27, 2011 | 11:37 am

      Thank you sister Goddess. May the season’s brightness reflect that of your own!

  3. Kristopher Fox
    December 27, 2011 | 4:05 pm

    My dear Sister, you always keep me up on things. I miss you dearly and this year especially. My best to all up North and I hope to get to see you soon. It has been YEARS!!!

    • Diva-Mama
      December 27, 2011 | 5:52 pm

      Indeed – way too long – but at least my blog kinda-sorta catches you up on the major life stuff. The rest will be saved for the no-holds-barred-book-in-progress. Now that’s something we’ll have to dish about in person!

  4. Escorpiuser
    December 25, 2012 | 6:44 pm

    Nice and wise.

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