Does Your Face Say “Ho Ho Ho,” or “Bah Humbug?”

Time to FACE the Holidays!

By Michelle Butt

time-to-face-the-holidaysThe holidays are coming. Have you ever noticed how some people are so excited and happy as Christmas approaches, anticipating all of the family get-togethers and socializing? And then there are those who complain about the holidays, dreading all the family get-togethers and socializing.

Well, this year, take a look at the faces of these people and I can almost guarantee you’ll see a pattern. The hostess of the big Christmas dinner will most likely have a round face with full cheeks and perhaps a mouth with full lips. This face shape tells us about someone who loves to be around family and friends. She is the nurturer of the family. She is generous and giving and makes sure that everyone is always well fed, both in goodies and in spirit. Going to her house always feels like going home to a warm, inviting environment.

Think about the face of Santa. Isn’t he the ultimate example of the spirit of Christmas, the most generous man of the holidays? Santa just oozes warmth and generosity with his round, full cheeks and rosy red lips.

Then there is the person who hangs back from the rest at the holiday gatherings; the one who keeps to herself and wants to leave early; who often seems just overwhelmed by all the fuss. If you look at her face, I bet you’ll see fine bone structure, a striking nose and perhaps high arched eyebrow, strong cheekbones with concave lower cheeks. This person doesn’t hate other people per se; she is just very sensitive to the energy around her. All of the emotion and excitement hit her like a wave of energy and it can be very hard for her to adjust. She can literally feel the buzz in the air in her skin and it can be very uncomfortable. So she will hang back until she can acclimatize and unconsciously put up her energetic wall. Then she can enjoy the festivities along with everyone else.

Think about the face of Scrooge. Scrooge was depicted as thin with a fine, bony nose, and sunken cheeks, isolating himself from the world. Yet, once he acclimatized to the energy of those around him (with the help of some celestial spirits), he loved Christmas and enjoyed himself at Christmas dinner!

Then there is the face of the man whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. Have you ever thought about what Jesus’ face says? Well, the face of Jesus that is depicted in all of the churches and artwork around the world, however subtly different has one main theme that is undeniable. Jesus has the face of a Leader. His beard and strong jaw show someone whose mission in life is to be an agent of change and growth. He is the gentle guide who leads with compassion, and strength. The prominence of his chin in most depictions show a man who has the tenacity of will to stand and face fearlessly what others would have run from.

Enjoy all the faces in your holiday experiences this year. I wish you joy and happiness, but most of all love during this magical time.

Original Post on Om Times

Put the Thanks Back in Thanksgiving

In the United States, fall marks a trifecta of holidays that snowball, picking up speed as they carry us,—often chaotically—from October through the New Year. The party starts with the distinctly non-religious (some would say pagan) celebration of Halloween; progresses to the spiritually inclusive embracing of gratitude that is Thanksgiving; and culminates in various religious observances ranging from Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanza. Sadly, long before we reach Thanksgiving Day, we are already being bombarded with commercial messages regarding the season to come, and a true sense of gratitude gets lost in the shuffle.

So how do we avoid succumbing to this all-pervasive seasonal commercialism? Here are some ideas for putting the thanks back in your family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year:

GIVE THANKS

It sounds obvious. Too simple. But to cultivate a sense of gratitude, we must actually take time at our meal to give thanks. A pre-meal blessing is a good start, but why not take it a step further and have everyone around your Thanksgiving table share a blessing they are particularly grateful for this year? If your crowd needs some prompting, pass a basket filled with slips of paper that ask each person to recall either a friend, a family member, a place, an opportunity, a trip, a meal, a relationship, etc. that has brought them joy during the past year. This little nudge may get the gratitude ball rolling, and before you know it your gathering will be filled with the real spirit of Thanksgiving.

ONE HOLIDAY AT A TIME

Don’t short circuit the attitude of gratitude you cultivate on Thanksgiving Day by diving into preparations for the next holiday right away. Give yourself some breathing room. Be mindful about moving from one holiday to the next and about creating space between the two. Holiday magic is lost if we are in perpetual celebratory mode from October through the New Year. The deeper significance of each commemoration is sublimated if they are dragged out and run together. So instead of obsessing about what picture to put on your Christmas card the minute the turkey leftovers are in the fridge, try staying in the Thanksgiving spirit at least through the entire day. A post-meal walk with family and friends is a great way to revel in the beautiful fall weather and work off some of that delicious meal you all enjoyed.

BOYCOTT BLACK FRIDAY

And when you wake up the next morning, commit to boycotting Black Friday. One concrete way to establish a boundary between Thanksgiving and your next holiday celebration (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.) is to eschew this retail-centric tradition. That’s right. No matter how tempting the sales. How amazing the deals. Make a pact with yourself (and family and friends if they are on a similar path) to stay home the day after Thanksgiving. Remember those blessings you talked about around the table the day before. Build a fire. Play board games. Watch football. Do anything but turn your spiritual celebration into a material quest.

Too often we feel swept up by forces outside ourselves during this busy time of your. Our head is filled with more “must do” items than will fit on a one-page to-do list. In reality, there is very little that we must do to make this season special for ourselves, our friends and our family. By focusing on keeping things simple and taking it slow, we can return to our Thanksgiving roots, established by Native Americans and colonists, of coming together, sharing what we have and giving thanks.

By Monette Chilson READ ORIGINAL POST on Om Times