Embracing Balance, Harmony and the Holiday Spirit

By Dianna Bonny

Unfortunately, most of my childhood holidays were steeped in tension. Every year, there were a lot of expectations wrapped up under the flocked Christmas tree that held explosive power when things went even slightly askew.

One fateful Christmas Eve, we arrived home from the annual neighborhood party to the unfortunate discovery that my brother had eaten the tub of cottage cheese slated for a certain dish. Not just a few bites mind you – he ate the whole damn thing. The simple act of satisfying his hunger altered the course of what had been a rather jolly evening and meant the mashed potatoes would be minus the required cheesey-ness.

Let’s just say that this didn’t go over well with my mother. She followed recipes to the teaspoon and she wasn’t fond of any sort of change, particularly after imbibing copious amounts of brandied eggnog.

It was well after midnight and there wasn’t a store to be found for miles, which seems hard to imagine in today’s world of 24/7 stores on every corner. Back then, it meant searching the yellow pages and driving a long way to remedy the problem. After my mother finished her diatribe about “how could you do this” and “a ruined holiday,” I remember making the drive with my father to a 7/11 and silently wondering about the sanity of my family.

Some forty years later, this family holiday memory still floats out of the boxes when I go to retrieve all the decorations from the garage shelves. It has been comically recounted by my brother and I numerous times, and also established a platform for my own holidays when my children were young. On some level, I vowed never to allow an incident like this one to ruin any Christmas of mine.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I stepped out of the holiday arena entirely the last three years, but this year I am back in. Not in a materialistic shop-a-palooza kind of way, just in a re-engagement of spirit kind of way. I am trying to bring my entire soul to the holiday moment and experience it with a wholeheartedness that has never been available to me.

Out of the quietude of the last three years I have come to understand that the more I know who I am and what is important to me, the less outside forces (like cottage cheese) disturb my equilibrium. It is easier to take a stand for what I want and each time I honor the light of my soul and follow the things that capture my heart, the simpler life seems to become.

I wish I could have shared this idea with my mother, but I am eternally grateful for the lesson she gave me.

I hope you are able to transcend any holiday tension and enjoy every precious moment. Just to be safe, you might want to ask before you eat the cottage cheese.

Make merry,

-db

Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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4 Responses to “Embracing Balance, Harmony and the Holiday Spirit”

  1. mike helbert says:

    Dianna, yours aren’t the only hyper-idealized concepts of the holidays. As I grew up there were expectations for family engagement that, quite simply, didn’t fit me. I have learned to dread the holidays and the unrealistic expectations of ‘peace and goodwill’ toward family and acquaintances that I just don’t care to be around the other 364 days of the year. Yet, I am on an inward journey that may, in time, open me up to these others in profound ways. I applaud you and the life that you are sharing. You are, in religious parlance, ‘blessed.’ Thank you!
    mike

    • Dianna Bonny says:

      I think most people dread the holiday pretense Mike. It’s a shame isn’t it? I think we get tripped up on the notion of how it “should” be rather than just being in the moment. I’m glad to hear you are on an inward journey as well – I think the exploration of the mind is the true last frontier of exploration. Just think how wonderful the day will be when you are in the company of those others and not affected by them. This is happening more and more for me and it is very freeing. Sending holiday blessings your way. Thank you for sharing. xo

  2. Sharon O'Day says:

    The mind is amazing. You managed to turn that incident into something you joke about, Dianna. But so many hang on to the one time something disastrous happened (instead of all the other positive ones) and color every holiday after that with the same fear and trepidation. I learned years ago to define my holiday celebrations in ways that worked for me, not what the ‘norm’ said it should be. If I tried to meet the expectations of the norm, I’d always be frustrated. And I refuse. ;-)

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