As a kid…
I have a deep, abiding love of the Christmas season that is either infectious or annoying, depending on your perspective. I look forward to June because we are halfway to the holiday season. I’m not unappreciative of other seasons and holidays – I relish hotdogs and strawberry cake on the fourth of July, selecting books and pastel candies for my girls’ Easter baskets brings me joy. But there is nothing like Christmas.
The Candle Time traditions my mother raised me and my three siblings with made every day of December exciting. We connected as a family around the candles, opened surprises/activities for each day leading up to Christmas and planned creative ways to give to others. I felt seen in those circles. Seen, grounded in my family and connected to the most important things: gratitude, kindness, compassion. It was a holy time. Life distilled to the values we should always live by.
10 years ago…
I love when the stores start stocking Christmas gear and commercials break out with Christmas jingles. I love these things because they bring Christmas with them and with Christmas comes my family's CandleTime Tradition. In a year when money was tight and my father was out of work, my mother found a way to turn our attention from things and stress and commercialism to giving, togetherness and spirituality.
Since then, December has become a special month for our family. Because of the CandleTime Tradition, we take time every day of the month to sit together and get in touch with what the holiday is all about: the things that light us up on the inside. I'm so thankful to my mother for gifting us with this tradition that gets us in touch with what the Holiday Season is really about.
As a mom in 2021…
Yesterday, there was a rare moment of quiet at the dinner table while our two girls, Everly and Isla (4.5 and 2) were chewing mouthfuls of pasta. The vegan Bolognese sauce was coating the corners of their mouths as they slurped up the spinach pasta noodles and I was feeling proud of serving healthy food they were actually eating – Hearing silence instead of “Yuck! I don’t like this!” was a Mom win! I needed a win. Whether it was the early sunrises of late June or Isla’s recent transition to a toddler bed from a crib, the girls had been waking up earlier and earlier calling, “Mommy!” in their croaky morning voices day after day after day and we were all grumpy and exhausted. For the 100th time I wondered if we’d made the switch to Isla’s toddler bed too soon…
And then, over the quiet sounds of chewing and forks scraping plates Evy said, “Can we do that thing where we light a candle and say what we love about each other?”
Kieran and I looked at each other in confusion.
“It’s not anyone’s birthday, sweetheart.”
“No, I know,” Evy said, hazel eyes wide with seriousness, “It’s the candles and we say what we love about each other…you know, the bag of cards and we get to go look at Christmas lights or share treats with our friends?”
CandleTime. She was talking about CandleTime. In June. Kieran and I smiled at each other. Somewhere among the crumbs and the power struggles and the second-guessing yourself of this parenting journey, we had done something right. Everly was asking to sit in a circle around a candle and connect with her family. Plan special adventures together, appreciate each other, give gifts to others in our community. She missed and remembered this holiday tradition we hadn’t spoken of for six months. Which has nothing to do with the presents on her own Christmas list. Parenthood means a lot of swings and misses. Sometimes it takes your breath away when you realize you’ve gotten something solidly right.
With the CandleTime Essential Bundle you receive:
- CandleTime Book
- The full set of 61 charming Activity Cards
- Ten short downloadable Meditations. Five for kids and five suitable for adults and teens.
- Small Velvet Bag
Who’s doing the CandleTime Tradition?
If there is one thing we have learned recently — connecting with those we love does not have to be in person! This tradition works well with a video call to those you want to share with!
There are times in our lives when our friends are our family. CandleTime is a great way to deepen those connections and build lifelong friendships.
Older adults love the sense of purpose and connection the tradition fosters with grandchildren, family members and friends.
A precious time to connect in ways our everyday lives don’t allow. These few moments will become the favorite part of your day.
The magic of CandleTime can inspire even the most skeptical of teens. As families grow with the tradition the activities encourage kindness, giving and provide precious memories.