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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Miracles Everywhere: A Season of Love

Nov 30, 2022 12:31PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

I wish I was one of those people that loves the arrival of the holidays, but that’s not always the case. Some years are merrier than others. This year with so many displaced from their homes and livelihoods from Hurricane Ian, it’s particularly difficult to get in a holiday spirit. 

For me (and I suspect for many of us) the holidays have a way of revealing aspects of my life that I may not have been inclined to examine. A yuletide song on the radio can nudge me to question how well my life is going and how connected and loving I’m feeling, not only toward others, but also toward my innermost self. 

I’m sure things weren’t as perfect as my childhood recollections lead me to believe. Back then, Christmas seemed so magical. I can still remember the anticipation and excitement of knowing that Santa would be coming down our chimney in the middle of the night and leaving presents under the tree for eight starry-eyed siblings. But those dreamy nights roaming the neighborhood singing Christmas carols on snowy winter porches or performing in the church choir with friends and family at midnight mass were likely fraught with long-forgotten challenges.  

One thing I’ve discovered along the way is that each new holiday season offers fresh opportunities to experience the magic and loving connections I desire. My willingness to put up a Christmas tree has become a kind of emotional barometer. Experience has taught me that if I can get myself out to forage for that special tree, the other steps will follow. Then, as I drag out the boxes of baubles from years past and bedazzle this year’s evergreen, my heart opens. 

I was blessed to have my daughter Alina here to help me decorate this year before heading back to her home in the Colorado mountains. It was heartwarming to reminisce together while hanging old Christmas ornaments that she and her brother made when they were young, along with other handmade creations handed down by grandparents and great-grand parents. I’ll miss her and others during this time of year, but cherish the special moments we spent together fussing over that magical tree. 

I believe the holidays are filled with miracles, and that we simply have to focus our view to see them. Over the years, I've developed a practice that transforms holiday cheer to something deeper and more meaningful. In preparation for every gathering with friends and family I pay attention to how much I love and appreciate them and then express such thoughts openly. I practice feeling gratitude for my life whenever I can and look for fresh ways to bring ceremony and celebration to activities. I regularly remind myself to slow down, take a deep breath into my heart and radiate from this place of loving connection. Rather than hoping that others will create that magic, I take responsibility for creating it.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or none of the above, may you find the gifts of this festive season everywhere you look and ring in a new year with clear intentions, expressing full gratitude for receiving them. Write them down, then go out and give what you wish to receive! We hope our offerings in this month’s special “Uplifting Humanity” edition provide you with inspiration and support on your journey.

Happy holidays and a bright New Year from all of us at Natural Awakenings,

Sharon Bruckman, publisher