I do not celebrate Christmas for a vast number of reasons, too many to list here. The holiday lost its luster towards the end of my marriage, and when I separated from my husband, I left all of the Christmas “stuff” with him. He was more into it than I was. What a sense of freedom I felt during that first Christmas as a single woman! Minimal decorating, maybe a poinsettia and a few strings of Italian lights. Gifts were exchanged with my Mom and a few girlfriends. Perhaps a dinner at a friend’s house or a trip back to Chicago. In the years since then, Mom has passed, and what little bit that I did has dwindled down to next to nothing, except for the Italian lights, which I leave up until Valentine’s Day.
Now, even if I get an invitation from a friend, I turn it down. Instead, I do a personal retreat day. If the weather is bad, snowy or muddy, I stay home and just “be” for the day. If the weather is good, like today, I drive over to Sand Island State Park in Bluff, Utah and sit on the shore of the San Juan River. It’s about 75 miles west of where I live and at a slightly lower elevation, so even on a chilly day it is warmer that Cortez. What a pleasure it is to sit by the river and listen to the babbling sounds of the water flowing over the rocks. I like to tell people that I am going to the beach!!!
Today being so close after the Winter Solstice, it was a perfect time for further meditation and contemplation for the year ahead. A little bird watching and river rock gathering, and my day was complete. I hope that all of you were able to take some personal time for yourselves during this holiday.