Rituals and Writing
November through the early part of January are months of rituals for many. Celebration practices vary but the historic intent focuses on others except for the practice of setting personal goals at the beginning of the calendar year.
Ritual: Wishing Santa might bring us…
Do you write out lists of what you want to receive from others? I know in many families this has become the reality. It spares the giver from really having to think about what the recipient wants and I suppose, it spares the recipient from returning something that doesn’t quite suite them. I remember the first time a gift my mom had purchased for one of her granddaughters was returned. It broke mom’s heart and it changed the way gifting was arranged thereafter.
Of course, when gifts are expensive, there is good reason for wanting to get it right. But I am sad there are so few surprises left.
Ritual: Sending thank you notes
Writing a personal note and sending it through the mail has become a cause for comment. Today’s ritual seems to be that if you are with the person, only verbal thanks at the time is necessary. If you are not physically with a person when receiving a present, perhaps a text or email is sent – although sometimes not even that. I am not grinching! Rather, I am observing our changing culture. I keep a “smile file” in which I keep notes from clients, friends and family that are especially meaningful. Lucky me to know a lot of artists because their creativity abounds and some of them write notes.
Ritual: Celebrating the passing of another year…
In the midst of all the clamor of public reminders of the year in review, writing a personal list of all that has gone well, a list of appreciation of personal accomplishments, is rewarding. It can be surprising how long this list really is because it is so easy to focus on what has gone awry.
Ritual: Looking forward…
Don’t just think it, write it down: in every area, what accomplishments do we want to celebrate December 31, 2017? Save the list and look at it frequently. This may be the single most important writing of the year. The filter I apply before adding items to my list(s) is the one below. Prioritizing what is seriously important remains vital to having a joyous look back next year.
Okay, I admit that try as I might, I cannot conquer the art of journal writing. Over the years, I start, but then stop when other writing faces deadlines. Perhaps this will be the year it will become a ritual.
A nod to Vicky Stein who is responsible for the title. To connect with her textile work: https://www.facebook.com/VickyAStein