Your Only Job During the Holidays

The number one reason that folks feel depressed during the holidays is because they do not feel welcome, a part of a village, or loved as they are. There are habits that have been acceptable for a long time that we as parents and friends must change. If this is the season for kindness, than we must go beyond random acts of kindness to strangers and really be kind and absolutely loving to those around us.

From top left: my husband, Doug, my oldest granddaughter’s dad (and Emily’s ex), Bret, my son-in-law, Reed (Emily’s husband), my son, Andy, his girlfriend, Bree, my granddaugher, Maryjane, my daughter, Emily with Ayla, Bret’s brother, Bailey, me, Shyanne’s boyfriend, Jake, and in front is Shyanne. They are all apart of my family.

Now, this is important- Number One- no nagging. For god’s sake, we don’t really think that nagging will endear our children to us, do we? Your grown children make decisions every day- hard ones- and are becoming the people they are meant to be (whether they are eighteen or fifty-five!) and they need support, not “advice.” Once they head out that front door as a young person setting out into the world, their business is no longer yours. They are more likely to come to you for advice and friendship if you are not already badgering them. The way they raise their children is not your business either. They can homeschool, travel the world, be strict, have no rules, or send them to private school. Our only job is to show by example unconditional love. Unconditional love. That is what this world needs more of, especially around the holiday table.

Perhaps your daughter brings home a young man with a mohawk or her new girlfriend. Or your son brings home a woman your age, or someone of a different religion. Maybe your child quit college to your dismay and your daughter moved in with her best friend who has less-than-admirable habits. (None of that is your business.) Our job now is to be undeniably loving, welcoming, supporting, hugging, happy and accepting examples of love. That is what people need. Unconditional love.

I adore all of my kids’ friends. Many of them call me mama. Everyone knows that we can squeeze in more chairs. I will have plenty of food. Everyone is welcome at my table- mohawk or not. They also know they can call me to talk or if they need advice.

My mother used to say (following the advice of many parenting gurus) that she is not our friend, she is our mother. That is too bad, because she is still not my friend, sadly. Be friends with your kids, their friends, the neighbors down the street, the woman who just lost her husband, the coworker without family here, the people that Creator sends into your life. They are not being sent to you to be saved, they are being sent to you to be loved.

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Let’s make this holiday season a bright one for others by accepting them as they are, opening your home and table to them, offering respite from expectations, and offering unconditional love. See how that doesn’t just change your world and the world around you.

The Journey of Color and Life

Can I be everything?  Can I recognize the ribbons of similarity running through each divine celebration and realize they are all intertwined and so similar that our entire life is a joyous journey overlooked by the Divine?  Can I be Amish and Catholic and Jewish and Messianic and Methodist?  Can I be Buddhist and Hindu and Wiccan and myself?  Can I celebrate Hanukkah, and Beltane, and Christmas too?

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Love God, Love ourselves.  Are those not our only commandments?  Those can certainly be taken from meditation to maypole.  Those that use their books of designated scripture to pick out what they wish and translate it how they wish, to feel pity on others and make themselves feel better are sadly stuck in chains.  That the One created all people and traditions and colors and life is bigger than we can fathom.  I breathe in the excitement of all this.

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I love all people to a point of heartbreak sometimes.  I love to read about different cultures, different foods, different religious celebrations, different lives, and the knowledge that our lives are all simply intertwined in much bigger forces makes us all one enormous family.

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Just as I am Irish, English, Scottish, Dutch, Cherokee, German, Black French, and who knows what else, I am every religion too as I embrace the ways the world celebrates.  I have had amazing physical healings, have seen miracles beyond description, and my faith is deeply rooted.  I am as comfortable in an American Indian ceremony as I am going to confession as I am remembering my loved ones at Samhain.  So many beautiful traditions and ways to worship.  The world is not black and white but rather grey.  No, not even grey, but a kaleidoscope of color.  Celebrate.

Making the Holiday Season Better (love and acceptance)

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The time is upon us for dinners with family, coming together with friends, and being around others.  We often say that we are getting together with loved ones but there are enough jokes out there about dreading family this time of year that there are obviously still issues.  Those issues stem from not accepting others as they are.

Why is it, in the human psyche, that we must try and make others to be just like ourselves?  Many problems would dissipate should we just love and accept each other as is.  I have such a profound passion for this subject that I could not help but write about it.  To touch on it before the holidays.  Why can’t people just be themselves?  Why must they match certain criteria in order to be fully loved and accepted?

“Oh, he is a pot head.”  Head shake.

“Kind of a thug.”

Wrong religion, wrong manners, wrong background, wrong child to date, wrong haircut, wrong class, wrong….

As soon as you think you don’t do that, please rethink and make sure about that.  If your child isn’t doing the job you wanted or going to college or living how you think they should, do you lecture incessantly?  If your child brings home someone, are you quickly critical because it is not who you imagined?  Are there people that are loud and inconsiderate in the group?  Is there someone that complains about everything?  Can you accept these people?

The child that is making his/her way in the world needs your support, your openness, your hug, no matter what their age.

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The boy/girlfriend/husband/wife that is at the family function needs to be welcomed.  Needs to feel welcomed.  Needs a big smile and an arm around them.  Are they completely different than your family?  Good!  Diversity and differences were done on purpose.  God made all different religions, colors, personalities, multitudes of different creatures and people and don’t you think if He wanted them to be all the same, they would have been?

The next part of this is understanding.  We all tend to be egocentric and only think of ourselves.  This is not a harsh statement, it is simply our way of surviving, we tend to think of our needs and selves first.  However, if we could try to understand why folks act as they do (and sometimes you will never know) then you can better love them and accept them.

I know this post has nothing to do with homesteading, but it is so near and dear to my heart being one that was never accepted in situations (and still struggle to be) that I had to put it out there.  It is about family and friends and life and maybe folks just don’t realize what they are doing.

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So, this holiday season if someone new (or old) is in your midst, give them all the attention and care you would for a small child.  A smile, a hug, a conversation.  Acceptance.  Love.  For that is the real heart behind these holidays.