Happy Holidays! Start New Traditions!

I will be heading to my sister's house in Virginia for the holidays.  I heard someone say:  This is going to be a poor Christmas (feel free to substitute your holiday here).  Why, I asked?  The answer: because there is no money for presents. *Enter Blank Stare Here O-o*

This year has been financially challenging for many people.  If the inability to purchase gifts is enough to make this holiday season "poor" we are all in major trouble.  At some point during college, I released myself from the obligation of buying gifts during Christmas.  I would buy a gift for my God Daughter.  I now have a niece & nephew.  They are currently under two.  I am not a parent, don't plan to be &  love my "Cool Aunty" title.  However, I will also be the aunty of truth.  They will not get the bad habit of thinking that gifts make this holiday special from me.

My entire family is going to be together at my sister's house.  Originally, my Dad was still going to be in Barbados.  THIS is making it a very rich Christmas for me.  My Mom will be cooking, I  may pretend to help by chopping & prepping.  My sister has a new-born & the oldest child is entering the terrible twos (with a new baby brother) so sis will be relieved of kitchen duties.  Her hands are full.  Her husband & his dry but hilarious sense of humor will be bopping around.  My Dad always finds a project to do or something on the TV to watch.  My boyfriend will visit with us until he heads further south to his family.  The house will buzz with the energy family & love bring to a home.  There probably will be no presents.  AND THIS WILL NOT MATTER.   There's a calming energy that I get just from being in the presence of my family.  It is the best break from my typical always on the go speed.

It makes me really sad that some people go into debt or run up credit cards so that they can buy presents.  There are many people who go into the year stressed out because of the debt caused by buying presents they felt like they HAD to get  for family & friends.  They didn't want to look bad.  If the people in my life need me to wrap a piece of materialism in flashy paper with a bow to know that I love & appreciate them, I need new family & friends.  There are people with NO family & friends.  There are people with no homes or food.  If you are blessed enough to have these things, I pray that you are a part of a tribe that does not put foolish pressure on each other about buying things.

Make 2011 the year a new tradition is started.  Offer gifts by going around in a circle & saying out loud what you appreciate about each person in the room.  Even grumpy uncle so-and-so has some quality you can appreciate.  Offer each other gifts of hand a written letter.   Ah, the hand written letter is a dying art.  Revive it this holiday season!  I am not a religious person but if you are offer personalized prayers for the year to each loved one as a gift.  Make up and perform a silly family song.  Do something different.  Do anything but fall into the trap of making the holidays be all about who bought whom what.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Holiday Traditions from Essence Revealed!