2011: finish strong

Happy holidays, readers and friends. The season flew by and we’ve reached its climax. By now, wrapped packages sit under a lighted tree and the menorah flickers against the black sky.

We’ve celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest (or longest) day of the year, and it’s no coincidence that these winter holidays – Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa – are about light. The kind that flickers like a candle or illuminates the spirit like generosity, forgiveness, comfort food and time with loved ones.

As we lay the finishing touches on 2011, reflecting on where we’ve been and where we’re going, we may consider resolutions, goals and intentions for 2012, a year that contains enough promise to bring goosebumps to my arms. But in order to enter the new year fully, we must finish this one mindfully, making every moment count. We can infuse light into the bare trees, frozen earth and hungry souls. Here are some ideas:

Bake cookies for your neighbors.

Hand out food and blankets to the homeless.

Donate money to a non-profit in honor of your parents or children or spouse or best friend. (Like Live Ocean or Advent Conspiracy.)

Make a candle.

Use photos from the past year to make a calendar for the next year. (Try Snapfish or Apple iPhoto.)

Take a candlelit bath.

Plant a tree to conserve energy.

Call someone you miss.

Plan a weekend getaway.

Read an inspiring memoir or biography. (Like Bossypants or Steve Jobs.)

Take a walk in nature.


    1. Me too! Modern life seems especially conducive to planning for the future rather than relishing in the present. 2011 has been a good year and it’s not over yet.


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