We’re talking about Ceremony

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under The Space

Clara's Chinese Charm by Rosa Say

Wow! December is here! Another year end approaches at the speed of light, and as the weather heats up here, and cools down for our northern friends, our thoughts turn to celebrations and the passing of time.

Our chosen theme for December is Ceremony. A little different from the usual, and boy, have our contributors stepped up their wisdom and generosity this month! Besides their usual ‘space’, each of our contributors is sharing an insight into their personal Christmas and year end festivities! We’ll showcase a couple each week throughout December, and we’d love you to join in the fun too!

I’ve been thinking about Ceremony and Tradition, Endings and Beginnings a lot the last few weeks, as the reality of imminent December hit me. At first, I started to panic because I felt way behind. In years past, I would always aim to have my gift shopping completed before December 1st. This year, I got to the last week in November and I’d barely made my list. I got that tight chested feeling, an ‘oh no’ of alarming proportions.

And then I recognised the panic and stopped to work out why I felt that way. I had this goal, set in my mind, that the list must be made and the gifts must be bought before that date. When I dug a little deeper, the reason I’d had this goal in past years was because I had young children and once school holidays commenced I wasn’t free to shop without them (and I really don’t cope well in crowded shopping centres). My youngest is now eleven, and he’s fine to leave at home with an older sibling if I need to go to the shops. And these days, I do a lot of my shopping online and have it delivered to my door, so those crowded shopping centres can mostly be avoided. Wow. Panic subsided, I was able to sit down with my notebook and knock out a list or two with ease.

What is it about the “way we’ve always done it” that keeps us doing it long after the reason expires?

I heard a story of a woman who each year cut the end off the Christmas ham before she popped it into the oven to cook. When her daughter asked her why, she didn’t know. That’s the way her Mother always does it. So Grandma was asked, and her response was the same – “that’s the way my Mother always did it”. A call to great-grandma, who laughed and replied “I did that because the ham was too big to fit in my baking dish!” (If you know the source of the story, please let me know – this is my remembered version of it).

Are you doing stuff at this time of year because that’s the way it’s always been done? That’s fine as long as it is still working for you. But if it’s become something you dislike doing, or even dread, something that causes that feeling of panic and wakes you up at night, now is the time to start questioning why.

Ceremonies are there to enhance our lives, add that meaning and sense of tradition. If it’s no longer a joy, then by all means swap it out for something that brings a smile to your face! You deserve it.

This year, my family are swapping out the Christmas Lunch tradition for a Christmas Eve dinner when the sun has set and the air cooled a little. The food will still be cold, the drinks colder still, and we’ll chill with candles and fairy lights and enjoy the evening with both our families together on our back veranda – everyone contributing to the meal in their own way – 20 of us in all!

And now, without further ado, let me introduce you to the goodness within The Calm Space this month!

This Week:

At Serenity Space –  I share 5 Ways Rituals Add Magic to Your Life

At Nature Space – Amy Palko with Ceremonial Nature

At Design Space – Vitania M Liscio with A Christmas Dinner to Remember

At Wisdom Space – three more contributors to The Calm Space are Sharing MORE of Our Holiday Magic!

Last Week:

At Wisdom Space – two more contributors to The Calm Space are Sharing Our Holiday Magic

At Living Space – Anne Maybus with Ceremony of the Brandy Cream Sauce

At Kitchen Table Space – Janice Hunter with And the Angels Sang

At Spa Space – I share Foot Bath Bliss for the Festive Season

Week One:

At Organising Space – Angela Esnouf with Five Ways to Reduce Stress and Make Celebrating a Joy

At Spiritual Space – Annie Hutton with Add a Little Bit of Magic to your Christmas

At Wisdom SpaceOh What Fun: Sharing Our End of Year Magic! The Calm Space Writers tell you about their celebrations and ceremonies! This week – Dee and Anne.

At Breathing SpaceA reminder to Breathe… featuring the unique photography of Amy Palko!

The fun will continue throughout December. Each week we’ll feature more of our writer’s celebrations and ceremonies at Wisdom Space, and next week we’ll have Relationship Space with Chris Owen and Sound Space with Dee Le Blang and more…

Until then, be safe, be kind and above all, be joyful!

From our hearts to yours, Merry, Merry Christmas!

Káren xx

Photo credit: Clara’s Chinese Charm by Rosa Say

Comments

3 Responses to “We’re talking about Ceremony”
  1. Vitania says:

    It’s funny i was talking to some friends about traditions just the other day. How we hold on to them so tight, and how hard it is to break that pattern. In my family, there are many, especially around cooking. As I am older now, I have really come to appreciate them because they are a connection to my ancestors. What I find most exciting is being able to start a new tradition with my children, that I hope they will grow to appreciate..

    Thanks Karen
    Vitania

  2. Hi Vitania, and thanks. Cooking traditions do seem to be really prevalent in families, don’t they? One we’ve always battled here in Australia is the hot dinner at lunchtime tradition! No-one really feels like hot roast turkey with gravy and roast veg when it’s 40 degrees outside (and hotter still in the kitchen!) We converted years ago to a cold meal, but every now and again one of my brothers can be heard to request a roast dinner. Since they aren’t the ones cooking, they haven’t a hope of being indulged!

    I love the idea of creating new traditions with your children. What sort of things are you creating?

    I started one with my kids about 10 years ago, where I buy them each a Christmas ornament (usually for the tree) which is opened and hung with ceremony on Christmas Eve. When they leave home and start putting up their own tree, they’ll have a treasure trove of ornaments ready to bring memories flooding back! [As long as we can remember which ornament belongs to whom – but my daughter seems to have that under control.]