Frost-covered branches, shimmering so bright.
Fresh fallen snow, so powdery & light.
Twinkling lights against dark night skies.
Watching wonder light a child’s eyes.  

The crunch of boots on paths covered in snow.
Singing holy music, watching yuletide candles glow.
Sipping cocoa near a crackling fire.
Pine boughs, cinnamon, fresh-baked desire. 
As you savor the sights, sounds, & scents of the season.
Embrace the LOVE that gives us the Reason. 

I love winter! The sights & sounds & scents of the season make my heart sparkle with joy.
I even love the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays…the music, the treats, the joy of sharing, and the magic that shines out during this season of giving.

OK, admittedly I don’t love the over-commercialization as stores begin marketing Christmas in October, when pumpkins are still sitting on many porches.

I don’t love the stress that emanates from stores as people frantically move through the crowds to find the new-better-best gifts for loved ones. I don’t love the holiday traditions that are kept even after they’ve lost meaning.

For a few years, during my #journey2simple, I even decided to STOP some of my cherished holiday traditions because I thought they were somehow contrary to my choice to begin living a more simple, less cluttered life.

But banning the traditions didn’t last, because I truly find so much joy in many of these rituals. So I decided to cherish the winter holidays again, even as I focus on letting go of the excess. This quote reminds me that a SIMPLE shift of perception is all it takes.

“Yes, the holidays can seem too commercialized! But…it’s my choice to get caught up in the judgment of the holidays or to shift my perception to the wonder of the season. I am never going to stop the commercialization through my irritation or judgment. I can, however, transform my experience by holding onto the message of the season: peace, kindness, love, hope, and good will to all people.”
– Beverly Hutchinson McNeff/What Would Jesus Do?

We choose where to focus our attention, and our choice is what determines our experience of any season. I recently wrote about this in Choose Amazement.  Our focus gives meaning to our life. We can choose to be amazed and humbled by what we see, or not.

This message is so important to remember, especially during a time of year that is so busy and over-flowing with opportunity to lose our focus on the simple gifts of life. So I’ve come up with a simple reminder to bring comfort & joy to you this holiday season. Use these daily to see where you can SHINE a bit more light into the world as you celebrate the gifts of winter.

Slow down. Savor what you love. What can you let go of that you don’t love, and how might this create even more space to attend to what you do love?

Hear with your heart. Listen closely for the deeper meaning of the season. Are you missing any messages of joy as you rush about trying to finish your lists?

Infuse everything you do with light. Reflect what is good and holy for others. Be a beacon of love and goodwill, as you set an example for everyone you meet.

Nourish yourself with rest & good choices. Have you sipped a warm cup of tea today? Are you drinking enough water & soaking in a hot bath a few times each week?

Embrace the mystery. Are you looking through eyes of wonder or fatigue? Where can you see through the eyes of a child?

Whatever holiday you celebrate, remember the magic comes through opening our minds and hearts with child-like wonder. Keep shining, and remember that YOU put the SHINE into every season.

Keep shining!
☆ ☆ ☆

A few more Winter Shine posts from years gone by:
How to Find Your Holiday Twinkle
Simple Gifts

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