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Light Up the Holidays: Seven Easy, Energizing Ways

Light Up the Holidays: Seven Easy, Energizing Ways

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
–Rumi

Throughout the holidays, most of us are stressed and strapped for time, longing for simplicity and hungering for something consumerism just doesn’t satisfy. How can we find our inner light, rekindle our energy, and feel goodwill towards all in this often-difficult time of year?

For millennia, people have used fire to spread light in the darkest season. Many of our fondest childhood memories of the holidays often revolve around fire: The ceremonial lighting of special candles, strings of lights twinkling on the tree, singers’ faces glowing by a bonfire, gathering together beside a warm hearth. Connecting with fire is one way to help us center ourselves.

Here, then, are seven easy, energizing ways to light up the darkness with the power of fire, inspiration for creating moments of peace and joy for you and your families. May they help us to celebrate our elemental unity as one human family this holiday season.

1. Small Flames in Nature
If you have access to a yard, try placing a few luminaria or candles in glass outside where you can see them from an indoor window. There is nothing more heartening than the sight of small brave lights shining in the darkness. (Make your own luminaria.)

2. How to Create an Indoor Sanctuary
We can all benefit from spending time in a little quiet corner where we can find our center, and be recharged. All you need is a private place and a candle, although some of us also like to include photos or statues or gifts from nature in our sanctuary spot. Taking time out to simply gaze at a lighted candle is one way to commune with the inner stillness that brings such peace in the midst of frantic activity.

3. Simple Light Out of Dark
This couldn’t-be-simpler idea encourages us to slow down and be present with the darkness, with the light, and with each other. Just gather at dusk and allow the darkness to gradually deepen, without turning on any lights. Notice the changes in color, the shadows, the peaceful, nurturing stillness. When it has grown as dark as it can get, light one candle. What a change! One small candle can make a world of difference. So can each one of us.

4. Spice Things Up
Nothing beats a little fiery spice in our food when holiday hustle and bustle drains our energy. Just add some cayenne, Cajun spice, curry, or Jamaican jerk sauce to your meals and enjoy the fiery glow!

5. Have a Candle-Sing
Call friends and family together, furnish each with a candle in glass to hold, and sing! Nothing beats singing together for making people feel connected, and the glow of candlelight can transform familiar faces into something very special indeed.

6. Burn Away the Old
Most of us drag a burden of old “stuff”–regrets, disappointments, grudges, bad habits–with us into the New Year. Why not have a small bonfire to give ourselves a fresh start? Simple as it sounds, this little activity can actually help us to feel lighter. Write on a piece of paper all the things you would like to shed before the turn of the year. Then burn the paper. If you don’t have access to an outdoor bonfire site (or a barbecue grill or hibachi), you can use an ashtray and a lot of mindful caution and do this indoors.

7. Fire-Lit Meal
Pull a table up to the fireplace, if you have one, and eat a meal together by its warm light. Or eat by candlelight: It gives an air of special magic to even the simplest food.

Read more: Christmas, Green Decorating, Holidays, Life, Spirit

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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14 comments

+ add your own
1:59PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Good ideas, thank you.

1:58PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Good ideas, thank you.

2:48AM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Thanks!

7:53PM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Lots of lights.

7:48PM PST on Nov 24, 2012

I have done #6 but without the bonfire. I would write all my problems, thoughts, worries, without censor and write until I can not write anymore. Then I would shred the papers and burn all of the shred until it turns into ashes, then I flush it down the toilet. Now I'm thinking of burying it into my compost. Either way, it helps.

4:54AM PST on Nov 26, 2010

Thanks for the great ideas!

2:28AM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

6:51AM PST on Dec 14, 2009

I love the idea of burning away the old! Will definitely try that out. Seems like a great way to start the New Year.

8:26PM PST on Nov 4, 2009

Love the quote! I've been a candlemaker for almost ten years and we love to eat dinner by candleight or evening just shut all the lights off one night a week - it's romantic, fun and relaxing.

www.SallyLeeCandles.com

2:28PM PST on Dec 13, 2007

Great Quote: 'Let the beauty we love be what we do.' and a whole lot easier to acheive when we create clarity and a pure space to work from by completion of #6, indeed a powerful exercise that has deep releasing and healing effects.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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