Bring Light and Healing to
Your Family for the Holidays
by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Graceful may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of your family holiday gatherings.
Perhaps you love your family, but you realize they need a little … work. No family is perfect and not every family is as conscious as you'd like them to be, but there is hope. You can be the bringer of light in your house and with your relatives ... the one who lovingly tries to bring healing and joy to the tribe.
A Family-Friendly Ritual
In my book, A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend, the Roman Goddess Lucina (know in modern times as St. Lucy) is portrayed as the bringer of light. She has the ability to see with spiritual eyes, and she teaches us to do the same. This gives us greater compassion and allows us to see things as they are … and, also, as they can be.
Call upon her energy to help you in your role as light bringer to your family during this holiday season.
Mini Rituals of Thanks and Love
There are many ways to evoke a sense of closeness and evoke that warm and toasty family feeling. In fact, you can turn the meal into a sacred event that everyone can easily participate in - without them even knowing! This will turn a ho-hum gathering into "a moment" that can uplift all. (By the way, you can adapt this to a gathering of friends, too!)
1. Hug a loved one: During the schmoozing part of the family gathering, before the food is served, forget about meaningless chit-chat. Instead, hug the people you love and tell each them something you love and/or appreciate about them. This can be a complement about someone's hair, outfit or cooking, to an acknowledgment of someone's sweet nature, kindness, generosity, brilliance, et al. Hugging, along with offering a few kind words, is a warm expression that can do wonders. It will automatically raise the energy of the gathering.
2. Play a piece of music. Music opens the heart and uplifts the spirit. Make sure you bring some terrific, inspiring CDs to the family gathering and or select family favorites that everyone can relate to and maybe even sing along to. Any music and song that warms the heart will get people in a good mood and settle their energy.
3. Say Grace. Even if your family has never said a dinner prayer in their lives, suggest one this year; or add this prayer to the customary grace that is said at dinner. Adapt this prayer to your families' religious and spiritual beliefs:
Mother, Father, God, Divine Spirit of all there is, we thank you for this opportunity to gather together in one another's company. We thank you for the light you bring to this family gathering.
Family life has its ups and downs, but when all is said and done, here we are, together again. Please grant us the vision to see the highest in one another, and grant us the opportunity to continue to be there for each other in good times, as well as not-so-great-times.
Give us strength and fortitude to ride the tides of change, and empower us always to be nurturing and loving with one another. Open our spiritual eyes that we may see one another for who we truly are … and love one other in the same spirit.
May sadness, disappointment and anger be minimal; may happiness, positive thoughts and good experiences together be bountiful. May we always cope, and hope, with each other… with grace.
We thank the Divine for this delicious dinner, prepared with love. May all consumed here tonight fill us with health and well-being. Amen. Dig in!
4. Close with desert and thankfulness. At the end of the meal, invite everyone to sit and enjoy wonderful desserts, and then ask them to take a moment to think of something that they are thankful for. Go around the table and let everyone speak (if they want). It may seem a little awkward at first (especially for the family jokesters) but people love it! It's gets them thinking and it gives them a platform for speaking and sharing.
May you have plenty of opportunities to gather and say grace. May this Holiday Season be blessed in all ways!
Rev. Laurie Sue’s column this month is adapted from her book, A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love, Success and Happiness, Laurie Sue Brockway, (Perigee Books, December 2002, $14.95). © Copyright 2003 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway All Rights Reserved.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith minister who is often called upon to teach, speak and write about women’s spirituality and The Feminine Faces of God. She is author of, A GODDESS IS A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND: A DIVINE GUIDE TO FINDING LOVE, SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS, from Perigee Books, December 2002.
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