The Festival of Lights. How we turned a stressful holiday time into a joyful holiday time. Holidays used to give me anxiety. We come from divorced families which can make the holidays a bit stressful. On top of that, we had a tight budget & gift giving was very difficult. All of this left a bad taste in our mouth when it came to anything holly-no-so-jolly. To solve our holiday blues we decided to change how we celebrate. Instead of celebrating for just one day we decided to celebrate for 8 delightful nights. We took the focus off of gifts & put a focus on activities & experiences. Now, you may be thinking are they Jewish? Nope, we’re not Jewish. We just love the idea of a holiday that focuses on lighting up the dark & celebrating miracles. We follow some traditions & we make some of our own traditions. We focus on how we can shine our light a little brighter into the world. Each night as we light more & more candles we are fascinated by how much we learn just watching a few candles light up the night. We use one candle to light the rest to show how each person can help others shine their light simply by sharing their light with the world. This time of year is known as the darkest time of year. We believe in ancient times it was a time of rest & introspection. The dark can teach us many things: to be still, to rest, to go within, to face our fears, & to learn to be with ourselves. We try to use the seasons & nature’s lessons to teach us more about ourselves. We are a bit out of the box & are willing to find new ways of doing things if they work better for our family. We love to learn & are very open to other cultures. This doesn’t mean we are against any holiday or we refuse to participate in other celebrations. We just choose to celebrate that which brings the most meaning to us. So, whatever you celebrate, we wish you a Happy Holidays. May your holiday be filled with love & light!
P.S. I will say the love languages of my family members are time & physical touch. This may contribute to the change being such a great success for us. If your love language is gifts you can add this to the Festival of Lights celebrations. Some people give a small gift each night (8 gifts). Some people separate the nights into different family nights.