Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself.
And we, as natural human animals, are being called to do the same -- the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness, and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow.
But many find the descent into their own body a scary thing indeed; fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.
This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through, and vanquishing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.
This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so you can walk into spring feeling ready to grow and skip without a dusty mountain on your back and chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul.
A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love.
A period of reconnecting, relearning and reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening instead of a time of dread, fear, depression and avoidance.
This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food, and consumerism.
And yet the natural tug to go inward, as nearly all creatures are doing, is strong, and people are left feeling as if there is something wrong with them -- that winter is cruel and leaves them feeling abandoned and afraid.
Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind. Yes, she points us in her quiet soft way toward our inner self, toward the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey, if held with care, is essential.
She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist, holding yourself with awareness of forgiveness, and allowing yourself to grieve, to cry, rage, laugh, and face what we need to face in order to be freed from the jagged bonds we wrapped around our hearts, in order to reach a place of healing and light without going into overwhelm.
Winter takes away the distractions, the noise, and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb-like love, bringing fire and light to our hearth.
Nursing mothers are welcome to join the Breastfeeding Group. Note that this group is pro-baby, pro-natural weaning, pro-nursing-in-public, and WHO compliant in guidelines (i.e. no advertising of artificial baby feeds).
Your Christmas tree is decorated, the lights are up, and you’ve started to tackle your list of Christmas gifts. It’s time to take the children to the mall to see Santa. In your mind you’ve envisioned adorable photos of a smiling child posing happily with Old Saint Nick. You’ve thought about how many copies you’ll need to send out to proud grandparents. Your child is excited to see the man in red, already compiling a huge catalogue of toys to ask for. But when your child gets to the front of the line and comes face to face with Santa, he’s terrified! There’s no way he’s going to get anywhere near the man, let alone sit on his lap.
A child can develop a fear of Santa or other costumed characters at any point in childhood. Maybe your daughter loved Santa for the first three years of her life, and all of a sudden just the mention of his name has her running to her room. Children have extremely short memories, so each year when Christmas rolls around it’s like they are discovering Santa for the first time.
There are many reasons why children might be afraid of Santa. He has a big white beard that covers most of his face, and when a young child sits on his lap sometimes all they can see is that great white beard. It can be pretty intimidating not to be able to see his face.
A lot of children experience separation anxiety. When a parent sees Santa, they think of a jolly old man who brings children presents. When a toddler sees Santa, they’re experiencing mom and dad putting them on a stranger’s lap and walking away. That’s terrifying!
A toddler’s mind is also growing and developing so quickly—especially their imaginations. They are learning so much about the world so fast, but they still do not have the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. To that child Santa is a large stranger with a booming voice, and they are being left with him. That’s pretty intense.
Don’t force your child to take a picture with Santa or meet him if he or she is too afraid—just wait until next year. It’s not fair to subject your child to that level of anxiety just for a picture—and it won’t even be a good picture. Forcing your child to meet Santa can cause your child to associate that panic, fear, or discomfort with all things holiday related, and the last thing you want is a child who has a panic attack every time they hear Jingle Bells.
Telling your child not to be afraid of Santa can make him or her feel bad about themselves. Instead, be supportive. Let your child know that nothing bad will happen to him or her and that you will be right there with them. Offer to go see Santa first or have your picture taken with him to show your child that they will be fine.
Try to recognize if your child is truly afraid, or is just shy. Stay out of the line and watch some of the other children go first and hear their interactions. It’s very possible that they will see the other children enjoying themselves and change their mind.
If your child will absolutely not go anywhere near Santa, try to look at the bright side—it means that your child has an inner stranger-danger awareness. Value that alarm! There are far worse things in life than a child who is afraid to sit on Santa’s lap. Maybe you won’t get that adorable photo to send the grandparents, but you won’t get one of your child screaming either. Take it slow. There’s always next year.
Brianne Collecchio is a registered early childhood educator and runs Busy Bees Home Childcare in Guelph.
Twas' the night before Christmas,
when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring -
and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping,
all snug in their beds,
While visions of presents,
flipped through their heads.
Daddy was snoring in front of the TV,
With a half-constructed bicycle up on his knee.
So only Momma heard the reindeer hooves clatter, Which made her sigh, "NOW what's the matter?"
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered in ashes, which fell with a shrug.
"Oh great..." muttered Mom, now cleaning the rug.
"Ho-Ho-Ho!!" bellowed Santa, "I'm glad you're awake.
Your gift was especially hard to make."
"Thank you Santa, but all I want's time alone."
"Exactly!!" he chuckled, "And I've made you a clone."
"A clone?" Mom asked, "What good is that?
Run along now, Santa. I've no time for a chat."
But it was Momma's twin! Same hair, same eyes - same double chin.
"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, and get some good rest." "Fantastic!!" Mom cheered. "My dream come true!
I'll read. I'll write. I'll sleep a whole night through!"
From the room above, the youngest began to fret. "Momma?! I need you. I'm scared and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," Mom smiled, "She knows her part."
The clone changed the small one, and hummed a sweet tune,
As she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best momma ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you, too."
Mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That's my child's love that she's trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed 'round here."
Mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.
"Thank you, dear Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget it won't be very long,
When they'll be too old, for my sweet mothering song."
The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
And with the clone clung close to his side,
Santa said, "Goodnight. Merry Christmas, Momma! You'll be alright."
~Original Author ("The Night Before Christmas for Moms") Unknown; Revised Poem (2009) by Danelle Day
Couple rewrites 'Baby It's Cold Outside' to emphasize importance of consent As shared at CNN by Alexandra King | Read more from King
A couple from Minnesota has re-imagined the classic Christmas song "Baby It's Cold Outside" for a 21st-century audience, changing the song's lyrics to emphasize the importance of consent.
Singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, both from Minneapolis, said they were inspired to rework the song after bonding over a mutual dislike of the original's lyrics, which were penned in 1944 by Frank Loesser.
The duet features a man trying to dissuade a woman from leaving a party despite her repeated protestations that she has to go home. "What's in this drink?" is one of the female lines. "What's the sense in hurtin' my pride?" implores the male voice.
The song's seeming disregard for the woman's desire to leave never sat well with Lemanski or Liza.
"I've always had a big problem with the song. It's so aggressive and inappropriate," said Lemanski, 25.
Liza, 22, said she felt the same way as her boyfriend.
"We started thinking of the open-ended questions that song has," she said. "You never figure out if she gets to go home. You never figure out if there was something in her drink. It just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth."
So Wednesday night, the couple decided to write a complete set of new lyrics.
"We wrote the whole thing in an hour and then we went back and used my little demo-recording microphone and did that in 15 minutes," Liza recalled.
And though the melody is still the same, the lyrics strike an entirely new chord.
"I really can't stay/Baby I'm fine with that" opens the song, as the lyrics recall the original's format of a woman leaving a party. Except in Liza and Lemanski's version, she does so without protest, the man helps her get home safely and the fictional couple makes a date the next day at The Cheesecake Factory.
"I ought to say no, no, no," sings Liza.
"You reserve the right to say no," croons Lemanski.
And as for that dubious "What's in this drink?" line. It's still there. Except, in the new version, the question is actually answered -- by Lemanski, who responds with the oh-so-now ""Pomegranate La Croix" (obviously).
"I thought we were just doing like a really good, cool, funny thing and it just felt right," Liza said.
"And emphasizing consent is one of the causes that I've always really been behind because I don't think I can think of one friend of mine who's a woman who hasn't been in dangerous situations with men. I've always cared about this so much," she added.
After the duo uploaded the song to SoundCloud, the couple found that what started out as a shared gripe between a boyfriend and girlfriend also resonated with the public at large.
"We've heard a lot of people say, 'Wow, we never actually paid attention to the lyrics before -- this is awful!'" said Liza.
The couple also said they hoped the song would raise awareness of the need for consent, given the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.
"It's not just a rare thing -- it happens all the time, everywhere. Every day. And I'm afraid for my sister. And I'm afraid for my friends. And I hope that this song gets people thinking about it," Lemanski said.
Liza added that she hoped that the song would inspire others to take action to help prevent violence against women.
"I hope it will be on people's minds and that people will donate to charity or do some volunteer work at shelters or sexual assault centers. Like, if you think about this and you think it's a problem, definitely step out of your comfort zone and do something and help someone," she said.
And having successfully designated their re-imagined "Baby It's Cold Outside" as an unofficial anthem for the importance of consent, the couple joked that there were some other candidates for the Liza and Lemanski treatment.
"A lot of people have suggested a bunch of songs, like Ella Fitzgerald's 'She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No' and Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines,'" said Liza.
"We'll just do a whole album," she laughed.
Lydia and Josiah perform 'Baby It's Cold Outside' - with updated lyrics:
Baby It's Cold Outside - New Lyrics
I really can't stay/Baby I'm fine with that
I've got to go away/Baby I'm cool with that
This evening has been/Been hoping you get home safe
So very nice/I'm glad you had a real good time
My mother will start to worry/Call her so she knows that you're coming
Father will be pacing the floor/Better get your car a-humming
So really I'd better scurry/Take your time
Should I use the front or back door?/Which one are you pulling towards more?
The neighbors might think/That you're a real nice girl
Say, what is this drink?/Pomegranate La Croix
I wish I knew how/Maybe I'll help you out
To break this spell/I don't know what you're talking about
I ought to say no, no, no/you reserve the right to say no
At least I'm gonna say that I tried/you reserve the right to say no
I really can't stay/...Well you don't have to
Ah, but it's cold outside...
I've got to get home/Do you know how to get there from here?
Say, where is my coat/I'll go and grab it my dear.
You've really been grand/We'll have to do this again
Yes, I agree/How 'bout the Cheesecake Factory?
We're bound to be talking tomorrow/Text me at your earliest convenience
At least I have been getting that vibe/Unless I catch pneumonia and die
I'll be on my way/Thanks for the great night!
Bye/Bye--Drive Safe Please. Don't watch that episode of 'Breaking Bad' without me/I won't, I'll save that for you!
Lydia and Josiah discuss their rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside" further: