Happy Holidays becomes Happy Chriskwanakah
Chriskwanakah is a new word, created to define a shared celebration of gifts, principles and miracles. All around the world people honor traditions, embrace dreams, create personal meaning, and share seasonal experiences with family, friends and community in December. It’s the time for living in a wonderland of lights, music, divinity and expectation.
“Happy Holidays,” has become the politically correct way to define the gift of Christmas, the principles of Kwanza, and the miracle of Chanukah candles. Often we do not know how and if others interpret the season, so a generic phrase has become acceptable. Yet there are so many holidays throughout the year that pale in comparison to Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chanukah.
To experience Chriskwanakah, one may choose to be mindful of the forces that contribute to feelings of becoming overwhelmed, extravagant, impulsive, debt burdened, over-busy, and task driven. Conscious attention may then be directed to gratitude, generosity, tranquil moments, joyful gatherings, laughter, and reflective experiences of light, sounds and spiritual meaning. Chriskwanakah calls us to prepare our homes and communities with traditional decorations, in anticipation of guests, joyful gatherings and recollections of old memories, all while experiencing a national immersion in thematic decorations and music. What I want for My Christmas is peace on earth and good will towards men and women.
Chriskwanakah began a little differently in 2016 with a renewed focus on family, as some national retailers chose to remain closed on Thanksgiving as a testament to the importance of family and gratitude. Expectation hung in the air, mixing with the aroma of turkeys basting across America, as shoppers perused the Thanksgiving newspapers and online marketing platforms, stuffed with promises of incredible bargains if one one would just rise in the middle of the night and begin the pilgrimage towards new acquisitions. Community celebrations with hot cocoa and the arrival of Santa Claus on town greens rang in the month of December as people watched Christmas Trees light for the first time of the year.
Our family has balanced experiential and physical gifting since our children were born. As a younger couple, we shared experiences in worship, charity, hobbies, music, travel and food. We chose to send money to charitable organizations instead of buying presents, spending hours writing checks by candlelight, listing to seasonal music. Those mornings we woke to the feeling of having given, while accumulating minimal personal gifts, a good feeling that lasted long past New Years. A tough proposition for children, but a purposeful lesson if presented meaningfully. Since our children were born we have celebrated the annual Christmas morning, watching our kids open presents before we enjoy the day, playing with new toys as a family.
What do all the gifts and the giving mean? This is a personal question that we must contemplate with our selves as we decide what we want, what we want to give, to whom, and why. Many people experience great satisfaction with their annual celebrations that carry us past the longest nights of winter solstice, while others choose to dismiss the season as something that has to be tolerated, but is best ignored.
Finding meaning in experience has been the pathway to happiness and the enjoyment of my Christmas for many years. To me, Christmas is more than celebrating the gift of Jesus, it’s a the feeling when I smile more and offer a “Seasons Greeting” delivered in my words of “Merry Christmas”. Whether I find myself singing along with holiday songs of yesteryear and today, riding along streets and neighborhoods looking at decorations, or watching joyful programs and movies about good cheer, it’s really “A Wonderful Life”, as things are just better in the glow of the Yule Log. Opportunities for giving to the less fortunate, preparing meals, showing kindness, renewed hope and community spirit seem to be everywhere! I find welcoming December’s month long message of good cheer to wash over my spirit brings a brighter feeling to the moments of my life, just because it’s the most wonderful time of the year to me.
I always wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” because this happiness, joy and wonder I experience is something I wish to share. Christmas is the only word I have ever had that expresses it the way I want. Creating and offering the greeting “Happy Chriskwanakah” is my way of offering a new greeting we can all share as Americans, and global citizens, when we embrace the miracles of birth, light and principles in our lives. Copyright12/6/2016 by David Carr. All Rights reserved
David Carr is a dad, the author of “4015 Days”, the author of “Virtual Immersion Drowns Holistic Development” who supports the Principles of Seventh Generation Sustainability. Mr Carr advocates for Clean Energy Production, Efficiency through Conservation, and has practiced Real Estate Agency since 1996 in Connecticut.