I didn’t realize how much I love December until I began writing about it. It’s not the glitter and the glamour but the much deeper offerings this month brings.

December gives us a clean break from our routines. It invites us to reflect, to celebrate, and to close the cover on the past so that we can refresh and begin anew.

From holiday gatherings, to family dinners, to cards and letters, December nudges us to connect with one another. If we allow it, the joy of the season can become infectious.

I love holiday traditions, both old and new. A few years back, inspired by this video, I gifted a candle to several close friends. The following year, the exact same candle that I had given to one friend was gifted back to me – in its exact same wrapping! And so it began. I have just regifted that candle back (in its original packaging) to that same friend. God willing, we will both be able to keep this tradition going for many more years to come.

My Words of the Year for 2023 were Connection, Forgiveness and Kindness. Unlike previous years, I chose to keep them private until now. Together, these three small words provided powerful focus and direction. Keeping them private, moved me from the external to the internal. With surprising ease, these words soon became my daily mantra. I seldom began a day without reflecting upon them and they quickly helped to clarify my priorities. They were so effective that I thought I might keep them as is for next year. But recently, a new word has nudged itself into my brain which I believe will not only continue but further extend the intentionality and motivation inspired by this year’s WOTY.

The birth of Christ, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Chinese New Year and many more cultural and faith-based traditions invite us to contemplate, connect, respect, forgive and to take our own small steps towards kindness and peace. This, to me, makes December the most cherished month of all.
*image source: Facebook.

What does December mean to you? Do you use a word/intention/resolution to help guide your decisions and actions? What’s been on your calendar?


Cohosts: Jo @ And Anyways, Debbie @ Deb’s World, Sue @ Women Living Well After 50 and Donna @ RetirementReflections.

Published by Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
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