There is a deep magic hidden behind the lights and music of Christmas. Awaken It and the Season will come alive. How? The secret is simple. It just takes a little courage. Here it is:
Vulnerability – it’s the key to awakening the deep magic of Christmas.
Here’s why: Christmas celebrates fragile light emerging in the midst of deep darkness. Celebrated during the darkest season and shortest days of the year, Christmas transformed pagan winter solstice celebrations. Fittingly central to the Christian rescue of this pagan holiday is the iconic fragile baby, defenseless to harsh weather and wild animals and surrounded by poor people. Total vulnerability.
Divine power? More like a dramatic display of vulnerable love.
Here’s how we can break open the deep magic of Christmas:
1) Let people know how they have blessed you. Thanking people requires the vulnerability of admitting that you didn’t get where you are on your own. You need people, and Christmas is a great time to remind them that you know it. Try this: Pick five people you have worked with in the past and write a three-sentence email. For example: “When I was an intern you encouraged me to say less and listen more in meetings. I still do that and it makes me a much more effective leader. Thank you for coaching me to do that.” For those closer to you, consider writing a short letter expressing gratitude for what they mean and have done.
2) Share something vulnerable at a holiday party. For example, in addition to telling people about the accomplishments this past year, share some things that feel vulnerable or unfinished. This is easier than you think. Consider starting sentences with “One thing I’m not sure about…”, “One thing I’ve been struggling with this year is…”, “One thing I feel sort of helpless about…”, or “One place I could use some prayer is…”
3) Love a few vulnerable people. Who is grieving this year? Who has an illness? Who is not able to leave their home, either because of illness or no longer driving? (Go ahead. Name one or two right now!) Visit them or invite them to a holiday gathering, or simply spend some time on the phone with them.
The days are dark and cold. The winter solstice draws near. Why not commit right now to two small ways to embrace vulnerability and awaken the deep magic of the Christmas season? You can do this! Merry Christmas!