It’s about magic. It’s about appreciating the light among the darkness we have experienced. It’s easy to hung up on what hasn’t worked or where we have struggled this year. It’s been easy to dwell in the frustrations of the unexpected. But what happens when we instead embrace the unexpected with openness, curiosity, and joy. Actual joy everyone (remember joy, we left it back in 2019 somewhere).
Let’s lean into the magic, let’s lean into the wonder, let’s lean into the possibility of what is to come. Give yourself the gift of diving into this week’s blog with Mindrise Coach, Jennifer Wielage, as she shares with us what it truly takes to embrace the light and magic of the holiday season.




Jennifer Wielage, Mindrise Coach

Recently, a friend confided that she was happy that our state Governor was banning large family gatherings due to Covid-19. She was relieved she had an excuse not to go to her mothers-in-law’s house for the holidays. At first, I was taken aback, but part of me understood. Sometimes, traditions become rote and we may feel obligated to go through the motions, begrudgingly, rather than taking charge of how we spend our holidays.

This made me think: how am I choosing to spend my holiday now? As a child, some of my favorite holiday memories are:

The sweet sound of holiday music, filling our house.

The smell of freshly baked cookies (mom letting me lick the spoon!)

My sisters all snuggled up, watching the classic Christmas movies.

Decorating the tree with family heirloom ornaments (mixed with my sisters’ and my handmade ones ?)

Blazing fire in the fireplace.

Drinking eggnog or hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Licking candy canes.

Hanging stockings on the mantle.

Setting out our nativity scene.

Gathering around the table for Christmas dinner.

As a child, Christmas felt magical!

When I became an adult, I started to view things with a little less magic and a lot more stress.

For example, it can be tough facing the holidays without those who have gone before us.

We may look around at the commercialization of Christmas and become a bit disenchanted.

We may have witnessed the mad rush of people pushing and shoving their way through stores to get the latest and greatest new toy.

We may struggle to find the perfect gift and when we do, it’s on backorder until May!

We plug in the tree and realize half of the lights have shorted out!

At dinner, Uncle “Bob” speaks with his mouth full, spitting food all over.

Aunt “Bev” brings up politics at the table after a few too many glasses of wine.

Picking up after that one family member that never lifts a finger to help.

When we add the pandemic into the mix, the holiday magic seems to have completely disappeared.

But has it?

Most of us would agree, 2020 hasn’t been a “normal” year.  We have endured a hell of a lot of struggles navigating through this year.

Despite the pain, one thing that has come out of the pandemic is a renewed sense of what matters most in life.

While we cannot control so many of our circumstances such as other people, the weather, events that happen in the world, such as Covid-19, we can control how we think about these things, how we feel and how we respond.

We may think that life just happens to us, but in order to truly live our best life, we have to take responsibility for creating it, the best way we can.

The same is true for our holiday celebrations. We may think holiday traditions just happen to us; that because they were passed down or because we do them every year, we are at the effect of what we’ve always done.

This could not be further from the truth.  We have the ability to create new and meaningful experiences, no matter what. We are free to decide how we want to show up for ourselves and others, how we want to spend our days, including our holidays — even during the pandemic.

We get to choose what we do and what we don’t do this holiday. We get to decide with whom we celebrate and we get to choose how we want to feel about it all. That is empowering!

What do you choose to do this year in terms of celebrating?  Most importantly, how do you want to feel this holiday season?   How we feel depends solely on our thoughts. The good news is that we are in control of what we think; on what we focus.

The fact is that for so many, the holidays will be much quieter this year. Many of us may even choose to be alone.  If this is you, take your power back and decide to use this time as an opportunity for self-growth, embracing inner peace, looking inside.   

As for me, I want to delve more deeply into my faith, to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ, allowing him to be reborn in my heart.

What about you? What are you choosing?

What do you want to continue to hold onto when it comes to your family traditions? What’s no longer working for you? What new ways can you make this holiday and the ones in your future more meaningful?  How do you want to show up for yourself and others in your life? How do you desire to feel?

I invite you to think about these questions, coming up with answers for yourself. Because when you are clear about who you are and how you want to spend your holiday, being more intentional about it, you will be a gift to others and be able to shine your light more brightly.

Love is what matters most. When we choose love, we connect to our highest self.

This is the season of light, so let’s be that light, reflecting God’s love, mercy and joy, celebrating what is most important and believing in and rediscovering anew the magic of it all.