Sunday, December 21, 2014

Finding the Holiday Spirit Inside You by Milou Koenings

Some holidays are so deeply evocative of family togetherness, redolent with memories of meals spent together, traditions kept since childhood and so much part of the culture in which one grew up that finding one's self in a country where traditions are completely different can be very disconcerting. 

Christmas in Mumbai, Thanksgiving in Brussels or Diwali in Chicago - I've done all three and believe me, they just aren't the same as in their native lands! 

Whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Chanukah, July 4th or Bastille Day, if it is a holiday that says to you: family, spirituality, community, tradition and good food, finding yourself in a place where that day is just another day - business as usual - for everyone around you is often a lonely experience. 

It's also an opportunity for growth and reflection. 

With few outward signs to create a holiday spirit, you’ll have to find it inside of you, so it may be the most meaningful one you spend after all. 

Stripped of the commercialism, the songs on the radio, the Hallmark seasonal paper goods (don’t get me wrong - I love those!), and with few other people at the mall wishing you "happy holiday" on your special day, you're forced to reflect on what the holiday means, how it fits into your life, and how and what you want to pass on to your children. Not to mention what you're going to cook! 

Somehow, focusing on those basics makes them all the more powerful.

If you're fortunate enough to have a soul mate with you, a few other kindred spirits around, to celebrate with, it's like creating a little island of your own amidst the mundane sea around you. And the bond created doing that is one of the most precious gifts of all. 

Happy holidays - whichever holiday it is that lights up your spirit, and wherever you may find yourself! 

Milou Koenings writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.

Her novel, Reclaiming Home, A Green Pines Romance, is available at Amazon

You can find her on her website,, on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.