Today I changed the schedule a bit as I did have sledding down for today’s self-care invite. However, I switched it with day 27 which was “Holiday Sing Along” because….well, because uh it just seemed more appropriate lol.
You may have noticed that I’ve been very careful to always use the word Holidays during my posts. The reason is that I am well aware that not everyone celebrates Christmas. That there are other very important Holidays and traditions celebrated at this time and I always want to honor all the traditions we all share.
Today’s post got me thinking about those other Holidays. What songs are sung during Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Saint Nicholas Day, Festivus, and Las Posadas? If you’d like to read about these different Holidays here’s a great link to an article I really enjoyed.
One thing all Holidays share is the desire to gather together with loved ones.
One way that we can do that is by gathering to sing the songs that celebrate the season. Whether it’s “Blessings on the Menorah,” “Silent Night,” “Festivals of Lights”, “Villancico para pedir posada” or “White Christmas” We all have songs to sing that bring us joy, harmony, and peace at this time.
Today I invite you to gather your loved ones together, be it friends or family, and sing some songs that will bring cheer and peace to your hearts.
On day 17 “set your inner child free” I related the story of one of our family traditions, which is to gather around the piano and Christmas tree and sing. Honestly we did this all year round, well the gathering around the piano and singing anyway, but today I want to focus on the holiday traditions.
Another tradition that my parents started was to gather friends and family together to go caroling. My mom asked that each family that joined us have a list of individuals that they would like to visit that might be alone at this time, or just in need of a pick me up. She also requested that everyone bring enough plates of goodies to deliver to each stop. Some years we had only 5 or 6 homes we visited, others we had upwards of 20. It never mattered how many we stopped at, it mattered about the feeling of joy and love.
We would all gather at my parent’s house with our list of friends to visit, and the plates of goodies, and pile into as few cars as possible and head out. Along the way we would sing songs in the cars between stops, and as soon as we were climbing out of the cars someone would start a song and we would all join in as we trudged up the snowy walkways to the house. It was a magical night, always ending with my moms delicious and warm apple cider back at their house where we would continue to sing songs, even though our voices were hoarse, and we’d sung each song at least 15 times that night.
I remember the faces of those around me, glowing cheeks from not only the crisp December air, but also the joy that was the night. I remember how my dad would sing with gusto even though, as he always says “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket”; and I remember the laughter that would come over us when we messed up the lyrics or the songs were just plain silly.
Even today, when the tradition seems to have faded as family and friends have passed on or moved away, the memories of those nights bring laughter and joy to my heart when I think of them.
So today my friends, I invite you to gather loved ones together for some holiday singing. Make your memories shine so bright that twenty years on they bring a smile and perhaps a tear to your eye. It’s not about the fancy decorations, or a full-blown schedule of what to sing when, its about inclusion, memory making, and joy.
That’s todays self-care. Make a memory to last a lifetime my friends.