Naturally, those of you who follow this blog know I practice hypnosis and have a spiritual rather than a religious ministry.
In both of these areas, it is thought by many, if you have a child, up until the age of seven, the child is unable to filter information and therefore has in its memory anything and everything it has ever heard or learned.
Among all that is learned, most of us have some special memory that automatically invokes love, nostalgia, happiness, security, and our philosophy in life.
In our home, for me, it was the holiday table. Most of my life, the holiday table and the daily table were the same piece of furniture due to space. Nevertheless, on the holidays it was extra special. I remember when I was six years old going to the Maple House in Cliffside Park, New Jersey with my mother where she purchased ours. That table is still with us (we won’t say how long ‘ahem”) and it is for me still the special table.
I have spent more than a few hours over the years looking at this table while I am polishing it and wondering what stories it would tell if it could speak openly. It is the one piece of furniture I am always happy to polish and do so lovingly remembering all the wonderful times we had at this table.
Of all the holidays we celebrated as well as birthdays and anniversaries and engagements and graduations, my most favorite is this holiday season. It brought immediate family as well as friends and distant relatives together.
Being of the Christian tradition, we celebrate Christmas. We also celebrated Rosh Hashanah for our Jewish friends which was wonderful also. The son of my parents’ friends and I got to have Manischewitz wine with club soda mixed in. Yet Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve were my favorites. It was more than celebrating the holiday festively.
In our Christian tradition in our home, we always set an extra place. This was for any unexpected visitor who might unexpectedly appear on our doorstep. It was meant to always honor and share with whoever the Universe sent us at any time. We judged not but welcomed all. We understood that the “Christ” could be coming as anyone. Today we understand that the “Christ” is pure loving energy included in everyone. We also passed a piece of bread (generally rye). Each person had a piece of bread which they shared with everyone else. As each person took a small piece from each other, we would bless them with health, happiness, and prosperity.
I can just remember my own happy expectations to be blessed and in turn bless someone else. I felt special, and I felt honored and I felt I was in sacred space.
Our meal consisted of a few varieties of fish, rice with boiled mixed fruit. We also ate garlic dipped in salt for strength and health.
On New Year’s Eve, we toasted with wine as we sang Auld Lang Syne. My Dad played the violin by ear so we always had some music.
All this we did around our holiday table with the best dishes and nice tablecloths and napkins and candles on the table to hold us in the “Light.”
Now that we are about to enter this season again, I look at the table every morning. It has the same effect for me as entering a mosque or temple or church. It engenders sacred, awesome feelings and anticipation of good things to come as well as gratitude for what we already have especially at this most sacred holy, holiday table.
My wish is that each and every one also have a special place in your heart and mind and wonderful memory of all that is good, loving and sacred.
Happy Holidays, Gloria
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Gloria Stanchak Alexander, BA, BCH, MT
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