The holidays are a time for story telling.  We tell stories of Christmas, of the Hanukkah lights, of Jack Frost and the baby New Year, of the birth of Jesus, the coming of Krampus (or not), Rudolf and Frosty the Snowman.  Parents tell stories about their kids, kidsJack Frost tell on their parents, siblings tell stories on each other, and the extended family tells on everyone while sitting back with popcorn to watch the fun unfold.  In Iceland people actually give each other new books (stories) on Christmas Eve.  It’s a day to unfold new stories all together.

The holidays are for rolling out traditional stories that weave us into our cultures, family stories that bind us closer – or strangle us, every family has it’s own dynamic – and personal stories bring everything into the life we are weaving, stringing meaning like Christmas lights. It is also the time for making stories.  We call them “holiday memories” or the good times we get up to when we move into the holidays liminal notion of time.  Ever notice that there’s so much more time for doing and being, for goofiness and love, for cherishing and drama when it’s the holidays? That’s because those few days are between here and there. They drop out of the ordinary linear time and allow us to shed the movement of going and doing and fulfilling and producing. We enter into a time of being and being with and in this we catch up on each other by becoming part of each other’s stories.

I like to think of this type of story as a mythology we are creating together.  What we as adults think of as small incidents, random occurrences, irritating inconveniences, and limitations, children see as the story of their lives. These are the markers that delineate before and after for them in their lives.  Before this holiday and after.  Before this or that happened at Christmas or New Years, before he or she said this or that, did that thing or the other, became something else for a moment, let us glimpse something extraordinary. Sometimes the stories don’t become clear until the event is done.  The meaning of things, how they weave into the grander scheme of things isn’t always clear until we get some distance and look back.  It helps to take a beat, breathe, and allow yourself to be present. The more you are here and not in your head, recovering from all the doing, or rushing to the next thing, the more you can enjoy what is unfolding all around you.