Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween,oh my!!

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It was a beautiful sunrise here in the heartland. Because Daylight Savings time lasts longer this year I get an extra week of sunrise meditations. With the clock going back on Sunday, I may not get up early enough for sunrise for a while. I can't remember a Halloween with such nice weather. Usually it is cold and wet, a few years ago we got a huge snowstorm, still referred to as the October Surprise by weather forecasters around here. The trick or treaters will actually get to show off their costumes rather than hide them under winter coats this year.

Halloween chills and thrills are fun for some, but for others it is simply the harbinger of a time of year fraught with difficulty. The holiday season draws nigh!!!!

It is amazing isn't it how many emotions get stirred up in us as the holiday season draws near. There are those of us who had less than functional families growing up, and this time of year always seems to be a time when family dynamics can be trying at best, and downright dangerous in some instances. I remember the first Christmas stocking I ever had. I was a freshman in college, and in conversations with a new friend, it came out that we didn't have pleasant holidays in my family. I loved hearing the stories told by my friend Lizzie of the traditions of her family. Christmas stockings were important to her family, so much so that her stocking was being sent to her to hang in her dorm room before she took it home with her for Christmas. When the package came, there were two stockings. The one she had treasured all of her life, and a brand new one for me. As alien as the concept of loving family was to me, the concept of a non loving family was even more alien to her, and she had asked her family to make me a stocking. I visited her home several times over four years of college. Stopped off at her parents house a few times in my travels as an adult. I will always remember that they taught me about Christmas.

So when I became a mother, I purposed in my heart to create traditions for my son. There was just the two of us for the first 12 years of his life, and we created wonderful traditions. Then I met my husband, and we  adapted some of our traditions into family traditions. We have pizza on Christmas Eve because I was too tired from working at the store to cook, so my son is in charge of Christmas Eve. He cooks the pizza and serves us. While I am at work he bakes 2 batches of cookies. One batch is a recipe he has baked every year since middle school, and then he combs the holiday magazines for a new recipe to try. Christmas morning my son opens presents, there usually aren't any for the 'grownups' we spend the money on my son. I fix biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and we go to the movies in the afternoon.We come home and have our dinner, ham and wild rice dressing. I am not sure how that came to be our tradition, but it has been since my son was small.

Traditions can be created where there were none. Traditions can be changed when the original traditions no longer fit, traditions can be thrown out the window when they simply aren't good for us to continue them. We can choose to make healthier traditions. Do we usually cook too many things that are tempting? Try new recipes. Yes, stick to those one or tow things that you have to have, but honestly, we all cook things that no one will miss. Think about what goes into the fridge as leftovers. Maybe that's a dish that can be changed.

Not only can we change the things we cook, but if there are issues that come up for us in this emotional time of year, we can change how we think about them. If there are expectations from others that aren't in our best interest, we can choose to not feel like we are letting someone down. Our well being is our concern, and we are not dishonoring anyone, or disrespecting anyone when we choose to honor our needs and respect our choices. Choose to take care of you! YOU are then better able to take care of the ones you love.

Do something spectacular for yourself today, choose to not let the candy dishes take control. Choose to be in control of what you eat.

Peace and Blessings,

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