Opening to Joys of the Holidays

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The Soul Matters theme for December is Opening to Joy. As children, the holidays of this season often brought joy in the form of awe, wonder, anticipation, happiness. As adults, the holidays can bring joy, but also stress and exhaustion. How can we get more joy and less stress out of Hanukkah, Chalica, Advent, Christmas, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, or whatever we have celebrated as children and whatever we choose to celebrate this month. Can we find an opening to joy by recalling the thoughts and emotions the holidays brought to us as children? Can we find an opening to joy by following the guidance of one of our UU luminaries, Henry David Thoreau, and simplify, simplify, simplify? Are there other paths to opening to joy?

What cares of the present can we let go, and what joys from our past can we recall that will help us appreciate what we have, materially and spiritually, and let us share joy generously and enthusiastically with others?