Five years ago I modified a long-standing Christmas tradition. One of my girls’ favorite things about Christmas when they were young was our Advent Countdown “calendar.” It wasn’t a calendar, really, but a cute little wooden house with 25 little doors on it. For many years each of the doors hid pieces of candy that they got to enjoy each day from December 1 through Christmas morning on December 25. Then, as they got older, and as I began to want to provide something more substantive for them, I created a list of 25 life lessons that I typed up on strips of red and green paper. They took turns reading the lesson of the day and then we discussed how these lessons had already shown up in our lives or how we could look for ways to live them out in the future. This year, for the first time, neither of my girls live at home during Advent, so there are no more daily readings. However, they still ring true for me, so I thought I would share them with you here:
1. LOVE…always and in all things. Love is never the wrong answer.
2. LIGHT…it’s your responsibility to bring it to every situation in which you find yourself.
3. LAUGH…whenever you can. It heals the heart.
4. LIVE…truly, fully, authentically and from your heart.
5. LOOK…at everything from the other person’s perspective before forming your opinion.
6. LISTEN…with your ears, your heart, and your soul.
7. SEE…others through their mother’s eyes.
8. EMBRACE…everything about yourself.
9. SING…“on the top of your lung” every chance you get.
10. TOUCH…softly and often. It is good for you and the one you are touching.
11. WALK…toward the light, the truth, and the good.
12. EXPERIENCE…nature everywhere you are.
13. THINK…positively and gratefully.
14. PARTICIPATE…in LIFE!
15. PLAY…by yourself and with others. It makes you fun and happy.
16. BREATHE…deeply and intentionally. Breathing can solve anxiety and worry.
17. FORGIVE…even when you don’t feel like it, as forgiveness is a gift to yourself.
18. GROW…in and through all things. Expand your mind.
19. REMEMBER…the good and the bad. All experiences make you who you are.
20. APOLOGIZE…only when necessary and always when necessary.
21. HELP…everyone who comes to you in need.
22. GIVE…love, peace and joy every chance you get.
23. SILENCE…your mind and your spirit at least once a day so you can hear the message meant for you.
24. RELEASE…that which does not serve you so that you can grasp hold of the goodness that is meant for you.
25. SEEK…your truth and your passion.
Wishing each of you a thoughtful, intentional, and joyful Holiday Season!
My best ~ Jenn