Find Your Holiday Sparkle

Some might scowl when I say how much I love winter…but, I do! I love the chill of frost, the sparkle of freshly fallen snow, the crunch of boots on snow-packed paths, twinkling lights against a dark night sky, sitting with a cup of cocoa near a crackling fire.

I even love the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays…the music, the treats, the joy of sharing, and the magic that shines out during this season of giving.

OK, admittedly I don’t love the over-commercialization as stores begin marketing Christmas in October when pumpkins are still sitting on many porches. I don’t love the stress that emanates from stores as people frantically move through the crowds to find the new-better-best gifts for loved ones. I don’t love the holiday traditions that are kept even after they’ve lost meaning.

During my #journey2simple, I even decided for a couple of years to STOP some of my cherished holiday traditions because I thought they were somehow contrary to my choice to begin living a more simple, less cluttered life.

I read something last week that helped reinforce the change of heart I’ve been feeling this year. I had already decided to cherish the winter holidays again, even as I focus on letting go of the excess. This quote reminded me that a SIMPLE shift of perception is all it takes.

Yes, the holidays can seem too commercialized! But…it’s my choice to get caught up in the judgment of the holidays or to shift my perception to the wonder of the season. I am never going to stop the commercialization through my irritation or judgment. I can, however, transform my experience by holding onto the message of the season: peace, kindness, love, hope, and goodwill to all people.

– Beverly Hutchinson McNeff/What Would Jesus Do?

We choose where to focus our attention, and our choice is what determines our experience of any season. I recently wrote about this in Choose Amazement. What we focus on gives meaning to our life. We can choose to be amazed and humbled by what we see, or not.

This message is so important to remember, especially during a time of year that is so busy and over-flowing with opportunity to lose our focus (& our sanity)!

So I’ve come up with a simple SHINE reminder to bring comfort & joy to you this holiday season. Use these daily to see where you can shine a bit more light into the world as you celebrate the simple gifts of winter.

Slow down…and savor what you love. What can you let go of that you don’t love, and how might this create even more space to attend to what you do?

Hear with your heart. Listen closely for the deeper meaning of the season. Are you missing any messages of joy as you rush about trying to finish your list?

Infuse yourself with light & reflect what is good and holy for others. Be a beacon of love and goodwill, as you set an example for everyone you meet.

Nourish yourself with rest & good choices. Have you sipped a warm cup of tea today?

Embrace the mystery. Are you looking through eyes of wonder or fatigue?

Whatever holiday you celebrate, remember the magic comes through opening our minds and hearts with child-like wonder. Keep shining, and remember that YOU put the SHINE into every season.


Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett is a highly-creative humanitarian & life-simplification guide who blends her love for writing with her gift of inspiring people to think outside the box. Her fourth book, Simply Enough: Create Space for What Matters is a call to simplify our spaces so we can focus on creating a better world. This book is also a cornerstone of her mentoring circles, where she holds space for deep conversation about what matters while offering creative solutions and meaningful connection to others ready to cultivate more spacious lives of meaning and contribution. When she’s not writing or creating, you can find Sora taking long walks with her mini-schnauzer, working in her garden, sharing time with her life-partner of 44 years, their two grown children and one amazing grandson, or skiing/hiking in the mountains of Idaho where everyday miracles can be found.

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  1. I like what you say Sora. I’ve never been a pack rat when it comes to material possessions……but I’ve certainly been guilty of letting my mind get cluttered. One thing that helped is learning when to say “no”…..or, perhaps not saying “yes” too quickly. Learning to do a few things well rather than more things than I should haphazardly was an important lesson. I love you SHINE reminder. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for sharing Mike! Yes, my mind gets cluttered more often than my house now days. Even with my own support reminders, I can still go into overwhelm when too many choices enter my creative awareness. lol It takes discipline to let go of all the choices & stay simple, focused, free!

  2. Thank you so much for the reminder to SHINE, Sora! I love this essay and the encouragement to choose how we see and experience this time of year. We always have a choice and sometimes we can forget that we do! As I have experienced both seeing through eyes of fatigue as I recovered from laryngitis and eyes of wonder as I unwrapped the holiday ornaments from my life inside the years with my two children and their dad, I know that I no longer live in the either/or but rather the both/and of grieflove, Joy, awe, tinged with sadness. Being human I feel pieces of the past flushing through my heart and eyes at the same time I experience this moment right here, right now. I no longer rush about, but I do now listen deeply to my heart-I’m finally giving her a chance to feel deeply grateful and to grieve, to love, and no longer ever be numb to life or walled off from any experience-for there is wonder in the miracle of being alive even as hot tears of griefgratitude might stream down your face. I appreciate the joy, the passion that weaves all around your invitation to SHINE! i wish you a most joyous season and wonderFul year ahead, Sora!!

    • Laura, this is such a great reflection: I no longer live in the either/or but rather the both/and … I love how you are holding the wholeness of this, and that’s so at the center of our ability to keep shining. If we cover the more complex emotions, they will eventually leak through and dim our light.

      I’ve said before that as we awaken, it’s like holding all the emotions at once. Gentle joy in the midst of sadness, peace within chaos, faith even as we worry for some of what’s happening in our lives. I think this is part of what the journey to simple is about for me…getting rid of the distractions so I can feel even more deeply what will help me be most alive and present.

      Thank you SO MUCH for your interaction. I look forward to connecting more in the New Year!