Tis the season.

Today I would like to write about the Holidays. We all have different experiences surrounding them. For some of us, they hold fond memories. For others the Holidays may remind us of painful experiences, or stress. We all know that the Holidays are supposed to be about family, and maybe thats why they can be tough at times. Not everybody is in love with their family. In fact, I know quite a few people who have never felt loved or supported by the people they are related to. In turn its hard for them to love back. Its okay to try and accept things as they are if you can't change them. Nobody has complete control on the outcome of a situation. There are always so many factors. Surrendering and trying to let go, or accept may be the only peaceful option. Even then, it may not feel peaceful. That being said, this time of year might reel in a lot of emotions. It is also the time of year when things might feel stagnant. People are wrapped up with their families. Business may be slow, unless you are in retail. Creative inspiration may dwindle as mine does. It's the end of the year, and we are all getting ready for a new perspective. In winter things die. In spring they are born. I have always loved the Holidays. They bring nostalgic memories of being a child. We celebrated Christmas in my family, and it was the time of year when my brother would stay the night, and my mom would wake up at 5 in the morning. Sometimes I would wake her up, but I think she was just as excited as I was. We would make a fresh pot of coffee, and cocoa, and go into the living room.  My mom would bring out a tray of pastries or homemade donuts. The stockings were my favorite part because of the little individually wrapped, well thought out trinkets. I could have had a stocking full of second hand goodwill finds (Which usually was the case) , and it would still have been my favorite part. As I grew older, we decided to make a new policy. We would only gift stockings at Christmas, and that most of the contents needed to be second hand. Some people in my family have a bit of stress surrounding Christmas. The time, money, wastefulness, and feeling like they would disappoint began to spoil the beauty of it. In recent years it has made things a lot easier to have second hand options. It's not as wasteful. Christmas became more about food, and gathering together. I have thought really hard about what the Holiday season is about. We know that Christmas is about Christ the savior coming into the world to bring light, joy, peace, and acceptance. Im not making this a religious post, but I want to point out something that may help people appreciate this Holiday more. Tis the season to be Jolly. It's the time of year when we should take time out of our busy schedules to connect. It's the time of year to spend more time thinking about others than ourselves. It's the time of year to help someone. It's the time of year to make an effort to be more loving and accepting of those that surround us. One of the most important things that you can do this time of year is listen. Listen to the people that you love. Ask them how they are. Ask them if the need any help. Show them that they are a priority. Give love. If there is someone far away that you are thinking about, write them a letter. If you are poor and you can't afford gifts, send an email with links to all of the things you would buy for them if you could afford it. I promise you it will be far greater than any gift you can buy. Don't let your memories of this season determine its meaning. Create a new memory full of thoughtfulness, and love. Talk to strangers. Offer help. Don't be too shy or prideful. The worst thing that can happen is a simple no thank you. This Holiday season is not about money, or gluttony, or wastefulness, or material things. It is about giving love unconditionally. Happy Holidays to all of you beautiful people in the world. 
Love Aja