The holiday season is upon us and with it the time for family gatherings, parties and gifts. This is also a time ripe with opportunity to think more of those less fortunate and to try to help those in need.
For those celebrating Christmas, the birth of Christ may also represent the birth of higher consciousness and values like unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, modesty and moderation.
And yet, like with everything else in life, there are other facets to this joyful time as well.
The energy used to light up the twinkly lights in our cities and homes amounts to more than what many poor communities use in a year. The light pollution created by these same lights, alters and interferes with the timing of necessary biological activities across species; from plants to humans. We create so much waste during holiday season; gift packaging, gift wraps, cards, plastic and aluminum from bottles and cans just to name a few. Millions of pine trees are cut down to decorate our living rooms only to be thrown out to create more waste. While there are millions of hungry humans and other beings on this planet, so much food is thrown out during the holiday season.
Of course, it doesn't need to be like this. Not if we shift our attention to the core facets of this magical time - the birth of higher consciousness. We can all use this time to become more conscious human beings. To become the people our children and future generations will be proud of. People willing to see beyond their own needs and wants. People who love and take care of our planet, our home. To be the change and to evolve – in the true meaning of this season that marks the return of the light.
If these words resonate with you, then see what you can do to make this time more conscious and more about love and connection. Share your ideas with your family and friends - inspire them!
This time is all about communities, friends and families. Let's find joy in seeing what we can do for our community as well as those near and dear. Let's give back to the environment and to our Mother Earth. Here are some simple ways:
Use eco-friendly decorations, or reuse old ones.
Decorate a living tree, in a garden or in a pot, instead of buying one.
Create decorations out of recycled materials and teach children about reusing, reducing and recycling. One day, when they grow up, they will remember those moments with joy and pride.
Prepare wholesome, healthy meals, and with moderation so no food gets thrown away. Take the leftovers to shelters, and to those who will spend their holidays on the street.
As a present, consider offering a yoga class, a massage or simply quality time spent together with hugs and 'I love yous' rather than another perfume or a toy.
Volunteer, help a stranger, adopt a pet, make someone smile more, help someone feel the real spirit of the holidays. If we all do just one little thing differently this year, imagine how much good we would create together.
It isn't always easy to be different, to change family traditions and rituals, to be the 'black sheep in the family'. But, as Krishnamurti wisely said, it is also "no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" . So, don't be well adjusted. Be the change instead.
Happy and meaningful holidays to you all!
Images in text: Sanjin Kastelan
Pinenut image: Natalie Collins