Soulful ways to celebrate the festive season with your loved ones
For many of us, the holiday season is approaching. If your festivities are laced with unhealthy customs, you risk aggravated doshas, weakened agni and tricky family dynamics. (Think sattva, rajas and tamas.) But with a little imagination and a sprinkling of courage, you can make wiser choices. You can create new traditions and make sattvic memories that you will cherish for years to come.
Let’s face it: when we think about what we ate or drank, or the gifts we opened last year, we might be unable to remember what they were. We are more likely to have lasting impressions of special activities or intimate moments.
Instead of stuffing those disappointments down with food and drink, why not simplify things and open to enjoying new, beautiful, and expansive experiences?
Would you like to hear some suggestions about celebrating in sattva? Here are some ideas from the Hale Pule team, our gift to you!
Celebrate Nature and Play with the Elements
Go for a walk together and bring found items home to craft with or make a festive altar. Kirsten likes to make full moon water and ghee, and she has a special “full moon” song she plays while the family dances outside under the moon before bed. In the west, you might like to make a bonfire like Ericka. She says gathering around a fire, tending it, and feeding it feels really special. Especially under a blanket of stars.
Make your own Gifts, Recycle or Upcycle
Use the talents, interests, and resources you already have. Make a beautiful box with salves, oils, and thoughtful handcrafted items. There are many wonderful ideas that people will cherish and remember. It’s a lovely way to spend the dark nights leading up to Christmas. Claudia asks her family to give gifts of things they no longer use and think she will enjoy. She discovered that people are exceptionally generous when they give you something they already own, but don’t use!
Amanda is careful to ensure any gifts she gives are something that the other person will actually use. She also favors offering joyful experiences rather than ‘stuff.’
Consider making a donation to a project that needs help.
Spend time with each other and be fully present (now that’s a gift!)
Play games in the candlelight. Knit, sew, craft, and make things.
Myra suggests spending time with others in silence. This is a powerful and intimate practice that is soothing for the soul. Try walking together in silence, it’s yummy! Stroll together after meals without rushing.
Usher in the Solstice Together
Make a solstice altar and enjoy treating the sense organs. Make bouquets of pine, rosemary, orange skins, clove and diffuse them in the home. Enjoy uplifting music, snuggle under cozy blankets, or go to the beach.
Create Rituals for Reflection
Rieke likes to celebrate by asking her loved ones questions that bring new beginnings and insights. For example, what was your highlight, what did you not like, what do you want to do differently? Spark meaningful conversations and create special moments.
Kay likes to pull cards, create vision boards, draw, paint, and sit with a nice tea and some beautiful Yogi music with friends and family. Her grandchildren love this.
Amanda loves to reflect and set intentions independently and with her partner and family.
Ericka dresses in character with her cousins as they watch familiar movies together, although this usually results in more talking than watching! She also creates magical get-togethers using conversation cards. Everyone draws a card and chooses something on the card to ask the group about. Guests learn more about each other and deepen their connection.
Be of Service
If you find yourself alone during the holidays, be of service. Help at an animal shelter, a soup kitchen or perform random acts of kindness. It will feel good and karma will boomerang back to you in unexpected ways.
I don’t know about you, but we’re already feeling the love just from reading other’s ideas. We’d love to hear yours, too; feel free to share photos in our sweet Sangha!