It’s that time of year again where the hustle and bustle of shoppers, parties and concerts fill every moment of free time we have. I am familiar with the catch phrase Christmas Creep and in driving home from a Thanksgiving dinner we passed Wal-Mart and looking over my husband and I see the entire parking lot of the local store plum full with no room to spare. I glance at the clock and see the time 8:06pm and am in amazement that there are this many people thinking about shopping, deals, T.V., tablets, and games they probably don’t need and worst yet, feeling the need to get in their cars on a day to my understanding is about family, thanks and coming together, and they want to spend it at Wal-Mart.

As I get older and continue down my path the more I realize what is important to me, I realize what I truly want and need in life to be happy and it is nothing a Wal-Mart Superstore on the evening of Thanksgiving could ever give me. My yoga practice (my life) has brought me a level of consciousness that to me is irreplaceable and sometimes unexplainable to others. From the second I wake up I notice the bombarding of the message, that what we have isn’t good enough, that there is something better out there than what we have, and it is no surprise that this is amplified at a time in the year that is so not about gifts, and instead we are being sent messages of all sort that we need to get up now and go to a store and buy a gift or else. And in noticing this all, I have also realized that we as a people have adapted this mindset to our lives as well.

I find it interesting that no one seems to ever complain about the brainwashing messages our media sends us, but during the holidays the second we see a bumper sticker, hear a radio ad or overhear someone chatting about how we should keep Christ in Christmas we feel offended, irritated and uncomfortable. From my childhood to today I have noticed a decrease in “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” ads and an increase in political correct greetings such as “Happy Holidays”. Really people? Kids can’t even have a Christmas party at school anymore in the fear that a parent might feel offended by the word “Christ-mas”. Weather you believe in Christ or not, weather you follow a certain religion or not, I think we all can agree that no matter what, this season is about family, it’s about giving from the heart, it’s about going outside yourself and realizing that there is someone out there that has less than you and guess what, there is someone out there that has more than you, so what. Because what if Christmas really mean Content-mas, Kind-mas, Forgive-mas, Together-mas.

The day I stopped trying to fit in a box, the day I stopped trying to fit the mold exactly, I was able to learn what faith really meant, what religion was possibly originally designed to do, bring people of like values and beliefs together to create a family. How have we gotten so far away from this?

So if you see me in passing please don’t feel offended if I offer you a Merry Christmas, a Peace be with You, a God Bless or a Happy Chanukah, I have learned over the last several years that when we take something so personal, when we get upset over something so out of context, it is because we ourselves don’t understand it, we ourselves are trying to figure out where we stand, and we ourselves might just be missing the point. I’ve been there, I get it and my hope and prayer is that you are able to get it too. When something is offered from the heart it can never turn bad unless you let it.

Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, Peace be with you and Happy Chanukah to all!

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