Many of us have a sense of entitlement around the holidays. It is a day we don’t have to work. For those of us whose work is controlled by people far away from us physically, socially and/or emotionally, this is a welcomed respite. It doesn’t matter if a person works for a large company or a small concern like mine. In fact, the only difference as far as control is concerned is that I have as many bosses as I have customers. Each of them has his or her own priorities and needs, and these may or may not jive with mine. Thus, whether we work in a small or a large concern, the holiday can be a break.
The question is a break from what. Is it just a stoppage of paying out physical and mental energy for others? Is it a time of excess when we “let go” and eat and drink the things we don’t allow ourselves through the rest of the year, leaving us a physical, mental, and/or financial hangover for the beginning of the New Year?
For me, paradoxically, the answer to this question is a break from giving. It is a transferal from the concern I have usually about the breadth of my contributions to their depth. It is a time when I can ask myself what I have called giving throughout the year and whether this is sufficient to my integrity with my physical, social and spiritual environments. I can turn off the T.V. and stare (maybe into the fire in our den). I can put two and two together for a while. I can decide what I’m going to do the next day, and how that will differ in a meaningful way from what I’ve done the day before.