Dearest Sparkling Mamma,
Today is one of my most favorite days as a mother- the first day of December, when our Advent elves Arbuckle & Bowjangles arrive from the North Pole to help my children remember the true spirit of Christmas.
It is more than three weeks of love notes, adventure ideas, holiday craft & cooking suggestions, & yes, some old fashioned toys & trinkets that they just go over the moon about. The giddiness & delight that these elves inspire in my girls is the stuff that makes my own heart burst at the seams.
Today kicks of with a letter, handwritten in my most perfect cursive, writing my older five year old will hopefully not be able to decipher as mine. Arbuckle & Bowjangles (fabulous three foot elves from the lovely Garnet Hill catalog) are encouraging sisterly love with tickets to go see Disney’s new film “FROZEN.”
In the days that follow, we will have opportunities to explore the history of SAINT NICOLAS DAY complete with some wooden clogs I found at a thrift store, cultivate care & generosity by dipping into piggy banks & buying a gift for a child in need, bake a cake to honor the miracle of Jesus on his birthday, go see the MYSTIC BALLET & THE NUTCRACKER & learn about the magic & rebirth of WINTER SOLSTICE.
Sure, they’ll be days when a candy cane sits in the pockets, or a small toy. Though I embrace the notion of conscious consumerism, I’ve let loose from my old Grinch Ways in the past few years.
When my daughter Seava was born, I was so sure we wouldn’t be “buying into all the consumer-driven drivel” of Christmas. I even thought about not even celebrating it at all, instead choosing to focus on the natural magic of Solstice instead.
I did not want my daughter growing up thinking Christmas was all about toys & candy, or that the amount of stuff she received was in direct proportion to how much she was loved or how good Santa thought she had been.
I was a brand new mom with a three month old, with loads of idealistic notions on “how things SHOULD be.”
Fortunately, I was kindly reminded by my former life coach DOLLY GARLO that it was up to me to move past the drivel & celebrate the true gifts & magic found within Christmas.
There really is so much.
But I also know it’s not an easy holiday for so many. Our culture creates lots of opportunity to simmer in the stress of the season: BUY THIS! AND THIS! DO A ZILLION THINGS & GO TO A GAZILLION PLACES! EAT MORE SUGAR! WORK HARDER & LONGER TO PAY FOR ALL THE STUFF YOU THINK YOU NEED TO BUY TO BRING ON THE HAPPINESS FACTOR!
Add to that any family heartaches you hold & you’ve got the makings for a very unhappy & unhealthy holiday. Oy.
Self care & the inner compass is needed more than ever.
I’m navigating my own holiday with extra tenderness this year. My mother passed very unexpectedly a month ago, & well, the last few weeks have been a mix of difficult emotion with a heightened awareness for all that makes life so magnificent.
While it could be very easy to get trapped in the sadness of her passing, if I am to be true to the Spirit of Christmas, I will turn my attention to the JOY, LOVE, GRATITUDE, HOPE & POSSIBILITY that the season brings.
If you have never done an advent calendar, I urge you to start a new tradition now. With the three weeks that it takes for the brain to imprint a new habit, if you start now, by the time Christmas Day arrives, you’ll be flying high in the holiday spirit.
If you have any special holiday traditions, I’d love to hear about them. Hop on over to my FACEBOOK PAGE HERE to share your story.
& sign up below to be part of the Sparkle Power Project. I’ve some fun stuff up my sleeve & would love to share it all with you!
May your holiday season be SPARKLING BRIGHT!!!!!
So very much love,
Cricket Desmarais is a creative & lifestyle wellness coach, a certified yoga teacher, an artist & a writer. She feels strongly that mammas need to remember themselves just as much as their littles, & invites you to find your inner grit & glitter with her here on her blog.