ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Have Meaningful Holidays

Updated on December 28, 2013

How to Enrich your Holidays

Christmas Day is past now and the twelve-day countdown of the Christmas season is well into day Three, December 28, as I write this. So this seems like the perfect time to reflect a bit on how to reflect, that is, asking the question: ‘How do we make special days and seasons meaningful?’

On the right, we have Fox News and ultra-conservatives insisting there’s a “war on Christmas,” yet I’ve heard no one speak out against Christmas or Jesus, either publically or privately. And as for that ‘horrid’ phrase “Happy Holidays,” maybe those who use it deserve a little slack for being considerate of religious beliefs that connect more to Islam and the Jewish tradition, as well as persons who are undecided about what and Whom to worship, or simply wish their allegiance to remain open-minded.

Holidays with an historical religious basis, like Christmas, summon us to a deeper consideration of life -- its meaning and purpose. That kind of insight can be found in any number of ways: worshipping in churches, mosques, and synagogues; meditating; praying; conversing with others and so on.

But, after years of rejecting the use of routine devotional materials provided by most churches as being too ‘fluffy’ and superficial (in our opinion), my wife and I have developed a tradition that works well for us. Perhaps you might find it useful as well.

Each Advent and Christmas season (7 weeks) and each Lenten season (6 weeks) we select a book of real substance, and then take turns after breakfast or dinner reading sections of it aloud to each other.

This Advent and Christmas our selection is a book by the thinker-counselor Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

Our selection this Advent-Christmas season

A book on Becoming, separating oneself from ego and pain and negativity
A book on Becoming, separating oneself from ego and pain and negativity

Our process for reading

Tolle says some of the same things we learned already during our counseling training and via other sources, but he uses words and images that are new to us and quite unique, all of which get us thinking.

In practice, we read about 5-6 pages each day and stop anytime one of us has a thought or comment to share. Then we decide how what we’ve read applies to our personal lives and brainstorm aloud after that, seeking ways to implement those insights as we move forward.

Our 'golden' rule

The one rule we hold to is this: stay away from books that prescribe what we ought to think or believe or feel. That excludes much of what comes from traditional sources, of course, but we’ve found that to be a freeing and liberating thing. We want to explore Truth from all aspects, without being hemmed in from the start by someone else telling us what we ‘ought’ to know and accept.

Over the years, our reading list has included works by the Dalai Lama, Dag Hammarskjold, Bishops Tutu and Spong, Matthew Fox, Karen Armstrong, Jean Shinoda Bolen, and a raft of other poets, philosophers and scholars.

Last year we spent time with one of our most favorite sources, Thou Art That, a small collection of essays by Joseph Campbell on the multi-faceted views of traditional Christian biblical stories as seen through the eyes of various traditions.

An open-ended process

Each meditative season we discover a new work, or re-read a familiar one from years past, and each time we discover something new and meaningful in them that helps us grow and expand as persons. And if a book is too lengthy or complex to get through in six or seven weeks, well then, we just extend the time frame beyond that particular season and keep right on going.

We’d recommend this practice of reading sources out loud and discussing them to anyone who wants a different, more significant approach to the holiday seasons each year. If you are hungry and thirsty for new ways to deepen your insight and new modes of reflection, try this one. You might like it!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)