Connecting this Holiday Season

A reflection on connecting this Holiday Season. How can you cherish this time with friends and family?

Recently , I was blessed with attending a family Thanksgiving gathering, with over 20 relatives, surrounded with love and acceptance.  The table was decorated with all of the fixings, a bounty of delicious dishes.  

Earlier that day, I knew that there would be lots of people, cooking, obligations and challenges.  So on my drive up to see my family,  I took a few deep breaths and slowly exhaled.  Then I asked myself, what is my intention today?  What do I really want to accomplish/achieve/feel at the end of our time together?

At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed with it all - such a huge table, the piles of delectable dishes and so many people.  I was wondering how I could be mindful during this time?

The answer was “connection”.  I wanted to connect with the food - tasting and reveling in all of the amazing flavors, scents and colors.   I wanted to connect with the care and love that created this incredible table filled with flowers, lights and  a warm ambiance.  I wanted to be able to connect with each person, one on one, being completely mindful of what they were saying to me - focused on their words and their expressions. 

I did this by speaking one on one with each of them.  My niece wanted to make some Parmesan Cheese Crisps so I helped her measure out all of the ingredients, combine them and then form into balls for baking.  She was so happy that I was helping her as she felt a bit stressed about getting it all done in time.

A nephew needed to slice up strawberries for dessert.  I mindfully washed each … and then started coring out each strawberry, being careful to not cut out too much of the core.  I showed him my carving technique and he smiled broadly, saying, “ Wow, that is really cool, Auntie Di!”.   

I helped set the table and served the bowls of Butternut Squash soup, offering our cherished cheese crisps to all of the guests.  All with a sense of happiness that I could be with them and help with the festivities.

I helped clean the dishes with my other nephew, he washed while I dried.  We chatted about his school and what he wants for the next few months before his graduation from Business School.  I encouraged him to follow his passion and not back down to others’ wishes or expectations.  He truly appreciated this advice and gave me a huge hug.

So I challenge you to ask yourself, 

  • How can I meaningfully connect with my friends and family this holiday season?

  • How can  I meaningfully connect better with myself  and honor my emotions during this hectic and sometimes challenging season?


- In health and happiness

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