Something is stirring deep inside me. I can feel the cycle returning to its origins. I’m feeling the arousal of childhood Joy bubbling up within me.
As a child, I lay wide-eyed in bed with my whole body tingling in anticipation for Christmas morning. I had just attended the midnight candlelight service processing down the isle singing my favorite carols with the junior choir, mesmerized by the flutter of candles and the twinkling lights strung with evergreen swags along the balconies. Whenever I need to draw upon a “feel good” memory, this is it! A frozen moment in time that has carried me through many depressing situations.
As I got older Christmas began to loose its sparkle for me. By the time I was an adult it became a frenetic time of the year burdened by gift buying, decorating and obligatory parties all adding to an already busy schedule as a working wife and mother.
In recent years the commercialism has become almost belligerent, intruding upon our lives before we’ve even hung up our Halloween costumes at the end of October. We’re inundated with tv commercials. Shelves are stocked with holiday paraphernalia and stores are jammed with shoppers banging into each other with their overstuffed carts. For many of us it has gotten to the point that we just want to tuck in and totally withdraw from the holiday.
I lived in rural Spain for a few years where Christmas is free of commercialism. There is no gift giving. They celebrate Christmas Eve with huge family dinners eating, drinking and cajoling for hours before they attend midnight mass. Christmas day is spent quietly, perhaps with a neighborhood paseo. The most enjoyable part of this holiday for me was the week before Christmas meandering through the neighborhood markets strung with lights. Spiced cider warmed over blazing fires was shared along with good cheer as we all shopped for the delectable ingredients for our celebratory meals while musicians entertained us with their unique renditions of carols.
When I returned from Spain I could no longer participate in the American blasphemy. Thus I decided to scratch Christmas off my personal calendar. I fulfilled the few obligatories for my immediate family and tossed the rest.
However, as relieved as I was to put all that hubbub behind me, there was something missing. So I replaced Christmas with the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, which resonates much more fully with me.
But this year, something is stirring deep inside me. As I was contemplating Christmases past the cycle of memories goes something like this. Perhaps you can relate?
Childhood: tingling with delight and anticipation
Teenager: disappointment with the loss of illusion
Young adult: frenetic overwhelm in keeping up with the Jones’s
Mid adult: disgust with the commercialism
Mature adult: tuning out as much as possible
And now, in my crone years, I can feel the cycle returning to its origins. I’m feeling the arousal of childhood Joy bubbling up within me saying, “Hey what happened to that ‘feel good’ moment of lying in bed tingling with Joy savoring the candlelight and carols.”
That’s when I realized it’s time to transmogrify Christmas!!!
Funny how that word came to me. It’s not a word I’ve ever used before but it’s the perfect word for what I’m feeling. Transmogrify is defined as: transformation, especially in a surprising or magical manner. What I realized is that it’s time to bring the Joy and Magick back into Christmas!
Thus weeks before it was time to buy my Thanksgiving turkey, I gave my child free reign. I trotted on down to our local Ace Hardware store to buy a shopping bag full of faerie lights and candles. (Woe is me who would never think of doing any Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving) I then walked around my resident forest with a pair of clippers gathering boughs of evergreens and pinecones.
Now the fun begins!!! Swathing windowsills and table tops with greens, faerie lights and candles. . . bells on the door knobs…. all instigated by my fae friends while singing my favorite carols with spiced cider bubbling on the stove.
As I’m writing this, surrounded by my self created Christmas magick, I have a smirky childish grin on my face, delighted to have unfrozen that “feel good” moment in time that has aroused the transmogrify of Christmas present. That moment of wide-eyed wonderment with my whole body tingling in anticipation has been woven into my daily life that will carry way beyond Christmas. The funny thing is, all the commercialism that used to bother me is still present, but I no longer notice it because my focus is elsewhere. It’s no longer bah humbug, it’s Joy to the World!
I have transmogrified Christmas and carried it into my everyday life!! Perhaps you would like to do so too, for life is brimming over with Joy awaiting our recognition.. . and our world is calling out for us to share it with others.
~Sharon Lyn Shepard~
“message from my inner wisdom”
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