A world ceaselessly in a state of unrest seems to mock this time of year as a season of peace. Most people are simply grateful that unrest hasn’t touched their lives, and hope fades for the victims of war and strife who will probably never enjoy peace except during brief truces. The link between holidays and holy days may be fragile in these times, but you can be a unit of peace consciousness starting now.
This happens at the level of intention and attention.
First, intention. Holidays are about gatherings, first of family but also of events that embrace community and nation. It's therefore easy to feel, on the negative side, that you have little or no control over what's happening around you. Swept up in holiday rituals that are simply a given, surrounded by squabbling family members and old tensions, you can easily be overwhelmed.
The way out is by centering yourself and being clear, first on the inside, what you intend your holiday season to be. A helpful exercise is to sit quietly with eyes closed and say to yourself, I want joy. I want peace. I want grace and love. As you say each phrase, pause and feel joy, peace, love, and grace as the silence of your Being. Joy, peace, love and grace are your essential nature. It doesn't matter how you settle into this feeling/knowing. Putting your attention on your heart is often helpful, or seeing a soft light in that region.