Have you ever had a really crummy day and someone smiled at you or said something pleasant and it completely changed your day? That was a gift.
During this stressful time of year, take the challenge to be a gift to someone else. It doesn't have to cost a thing -- it could be a smile, a kind word, a compliment, or even allowing someone else in front of you in the check-out line. It could be baking some cookies for a lonely neighbor or smiling through Uncle Jack's re-telling of the same old stories. It could be picking up some trash or saying a prayer. It could be keeping a kind thought and a heart of compassion during stressful times.
Deck the halls with shoppers manic, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
'Tis the season to be frantic, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Well, you get the drift. I think we all have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. There's too much to do, too much to buy, too much to bake or create or assemble or ship, too many people to potentially offend, and so on. It's just too much pressure!
May I suggest another way? First, take a deep breath. Then, take it
Yes, we all feel overwhelmed, but that doesn't have to invade every moment of your waking life, does it? Be aware of your breath. Be aware of how you treat others, even that surly cashier in line four. Be aware that if you want peace, it begins with you. Breathe.
The last festival in our Celtic calendar is Lammas. Lammas means "loaf-mass" and falls during the height of summer, August 1st. It celebrates the ripening crops and reaping what one has sown. In Ireland during this time, horse fairs are held. There were also marriage markets, and in the old days couples could "hand fast," which is to marry for a year and a day. If the couple didn't conceive or get along, they could simply dissolve the relationship.
Lammas is also known as Lughnasa, the feast of Lugh, who is the solar god. Lugh is also the master of all skills and Lughnasa is a time to celebrate in friendly competition.