Why The Holiday Season May Be Valuable For Mourning

The holiday season is chaos. Busy, filled with responsibility (now that I’m gRoWn), and constantly reminding me that things are “not like they were.”

Our holiday season starts with the Chinese Moon Festival. This year, it falls on…tomorrow.

The Moon Festival is a wholesome holiday that I am so lucky to have been introduced to. I’ve embraced it with my full soul. My husband often describes it as “Asian Thanksgiving”, and our friend says that visually, its comparable to the lantern scene in Tangled. Neither of these things are incorrect, although I’m a little bummed for the simplistic explanations for such a rich holiday.

In our house, we have a tea service, eat a big dinner of mostly round foods, evoking the moon (pomelos, crab cakes, pomegranates, melons, etc.), hang lanterns, and go outside to admire the full moon.

This holiday is also incredibly focused on family. Family is such a deep concept, I think. It can actually mean different things, especially if the relationships with the people you share DNA with are difficult ones. This is where found-family can be important. To me, family is a simple concept. It’s the people who’ve got you. No matter what.

This year (and many years), for so many people, family and the holiday season will be met with mourning. People have lost loved-ones. People will mourn the idea of what they wanted their holiday season to look like. Let’s make a little pact. Let’s accept this and try to allow the feelings and move through them.

Mourning is such a personal, difficult, sacred process. I feel that there is so much potential for making headway through mourning during the holiday season. Personally, this year, I am going to make a promise to myself to sit intentionally and think about “my people” during each holiday day. Remember things I loved–feel feelings that suuuuuuck–and just be.

I feel lucky that our holiday season starts off with the Moon Festival, because the Honor Table is such a natural place to sit and just exist with those thoughts.

And then maybe, I will just let those thoughts go for a little while, and try to let myself enjoy things in the present.

Things are not like they were. Things are like they are. And that is also wholesome, if I would just let myself see it.

How do you guys plan to do your holidays this year? <3

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