Welcome back #CultDaddies and #CultMommies out there. Hope you all had a beautiful and blessed holidays with your families, friends and loved ones!

The #CultOfDad is also wishing us all, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year, here in 2019!

New year, new opportunities for growth, New beginnings for us all… It’s now time to get back to work, and make this year our best one yet.

With the holiday season past us, and so many days either off or devoted to family, there’s has been a lot of time to think.

Thoughts about the holidays and meaning behind them… is it just commercial BS or is there some legitimate merit to them.

Religious doctrine aside, we all know the holiday season has become one big commercial ploy to get everyone to open their wallets and ‘buy, buy, buy’… whether your religious or not. Whether its Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or winter solstice… Pagan, Jewish, Christian or whatever… seldom little is heard, or sung about those traditional faiths while all the praises are sung to the commercial aspects of the holidays.

And for most of us, the excuse for days off the rat race and an opportunity to party, cut loose, and enjoy our life is too tempting to resist. Why would we, who can resist an opportunity to relax.

At the same time, relaxing is probably the last thing that happens, when so many are stressed and overwhelmed by the pressure and demands of the holidays, to keep up with the Jone’s, make everyone around them happy buy gifts, food, cleaning, traveling, etc.

It’s no wonder the norm is to overindulge, party are buts off and kind of self destruct until we collapse and have to pull ourselves back together in the new year. Many spend that last couple of weeks, working, stressing, and playing our roles at the expense of our own well being, just to make new years resolutions ‘to be better next year’… And then the cycle continues.

So, with all that said… makes me wonder, what is the real value and benefit of the holiday season.

Religious moral platitudes aside, at glance it seems pointless, celebratory debauchery. Yet with some deeper reflection there are some beautiful heartfelt things about the holidays that can be easily over looked.

The idea of generosity is one. It’s often spoken of, but not something I ever gave much real thought to. But as we get older, shifting from being the kids in our families eager for gifts, to being the adults and providers. The ones who give gifts… the opportunity to step into that spirit of generosity is there more and more.

With my son getting older, my family getting larger… more and more people to give gifts to, this year for the 1st time in many, I felt that festive holiday spirit in the spirit of giving and generosity. For a long time that holiday feeling was gone for me…. just feeling more and more disgust at the commercialization and greed of the holiday season. And yes while those are clearly still there, I never felt more connected with the joy one can get from the spirit of giving.

While my in-laws and extended families all wanted to find loopholes and ways out of giving … [oh lets not get the guys anything, lets just get for the kids, or lets just give a little cash and a card, etc.] I found myself more determined than ever to just give. Somethingthoughtful, hopefully meaningful or enjoyable to all, big or small. My family and I decided to make that effort and managed to gift all of our loved ones something we felt they’d enjoy, and appreciate. Money constraints and all. I didn’t not want to just give the kids gifts, or just women , or just… whatever the loophole everyone else was doing. I wanted to make the effort to do something that said, ‘Here, I appreciate you , and am demonstrating my own abundance and love, with an offering to you. I hope you enjoy, with Love.’

Low and behold. It felt damn good. I myself didn’t get much and honestly I didn’t need much… I didn’t need anything really. The surprising thing for me was realizing that I didn’t need to receive to feel loved or blessed etc… and that’ giving’ made me feel more connect with the love that I am, with the divine and the spirit of generosity. A sentiment I had long ago overlooked for the sake of my own greed and desires to receive.

Another beautiful lesson that helped reaffirm that magical holiday feeling for me was the idea of togetherness. I got to see many loved ones whom I don’t see often. and talk to many more. Something so simple and overlooked these days in our ever connected world. Just hanging, cracking jokes having laughs and watching the smiles of people I care about… playing a role in making the happy , even if only for a moment… brought me just as much happiness. The togetherness thing, became a gift in itself.

Okay so Generosity, the gift of giving, togetherness and bonding. these are all great lessons and vibes to connect with. Any others… something like goodwill towards all man [in the all inclusive ‘mankind’ sorta way] or something?

Well I’ll be 1st to admit, this is a bit of a reach… yes it sounds great and all, goodwill towards men yadda… that’s right up there with peace on earth. Sure we all kinda want it and all… but no one really sees it or believes its a real possibility. But! Go figure… there is a reality to it!

There is something about the holidays where people are somewhat more chipper and a little bit nicer to each other. [umm… not counting black Friday sales and the competitive nature of holiday shopping? … fortunately I do a lot of my shopping online and skip over all that]

As a new Yorker… I got to see a noticeable difference, having stangers wishing each other happy holidays, happy new year, or making simple kind gestures to each other. Instead of dropping nickles and spare change on the homeless, seeing clothes and paper money given to homeless. People volunteering more, just overall being a little kinder and more compassionate.[side note I intended to volunteer myself this year and was stopped short by getting sick, but the intention was there … and Ive set up plans for future volunteer hours at local nyc community centers… Kudus to me… *as I pat myself on the back!]

I’ve seen normal moments that would end up as fights in the NYC subway system get diffused and entire cars of strangers make efforts to resolve volatile issue. Its a slight adjustment, but once you start to notice it, the momentum builds up and snowballs until it seems the entire season is filled with these loving compassionate instances of us, man [all inclusive mankind sorta way] being our bestselves… And as sappy as it sounds, that feeling, those good vibes are contagious and just makes one, want to carry it forward as blessings to others in future moments.

So I guess all this is say, religious doctrines aside, there are some very beautiful and heartfelt moments and life lesson that can be gleaned from the holidays. Some of which are lesson that have revisited me this past holiday season, in a deep and meaningful was. Bringing the magic of the season back in a way that I have not felt since I was a kid and all consumed by solely the ‘getting’ of the commercial holiday season.

So , here is to hoping you all were all able to connect to the magic of the holidays in your own ways and can carry that energy fourth in the creating of an awesome New Year for us all!

Peace and Blessings!

Zay.

About the Author Zay

Fatherhood is a helluva ride. The motivating factors in this whirlwind adventure that is my life, are my passion and my heart. All things spiritual feed my soul. Technology fuels curiosity and imagination. Yet my family, brings me peace... Blessings! The God in me, acknowledges the god in you! Namaste!

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