Write a New Holiday Story..and Still Honor Your Memories!

Updated: November 25, 2018

Dearest you,

Hope you’ve been having a week of balanced self-care after the dunk and immersion in the holiday frenzy. (for my friends in the USA I’m referring to your Thanksgiving Holiday – for the rest of us – we feel ya!)
For many people, it all begins now and it’s like being on a racing freight train fueled with escapism and angst and sugar, yep there is that. For those of you who suffer empathy overload and end up either fatigued and foggy or also confused because extra weight shows up on you overnight from all the stress, try and find ways to detach, go get grounded by walking in nature, and take lots of Himalayan salt baths, and breathe.

Here’s my go-to advice for the whole season.

You can also say NO and say it a lot to manage it all, but there’s a new normal, (or abnormal is the new normal) and we need all the help we can get to remain positive and certain within while the uncertainty on the outside prevails.

While we can tune out temporarily, we can’t ignore what’s happening in the world. I believe humanity is experiencing this for a reason. It’s all a precursor to a more cohesive peaceful world. And the sky is always darkest before dawn.

Call me a hippie-dippie granola grinder Pollyanna but I believe in the soul of humanity and I believe Love is the only answer. And we have a long way to go.

And, It’s also true the world is getting increasingly difficult for sensitives. Who knew watching the news could make you swollen and exhausted? Now the holidays? Oy Vey!

While remaining aware and respectful of the state of things, I have also been counter-balancing it all with watching hilarious cat and puppy videos online, reading inspirational stories (also about pets), listening to moving music, being present and kind to as many as I can, and of course getting ready to welcome our new fur baby Binkey to our little family. There is nothing like a new puppy to keep one in present time awareness and simplicity,(and deep cleaning solution and wee wee pads).

So here we are. It’s the end of November and this weekend we’re welcoming December and the month I self-reflect in the most as we all come to the close of a new year. It’s a month that hosts so many memories and stories that have crowed for my attention. It used to be deafening like being forced to listen to heavy metal music. Now it’s softer and poignant and melodic.

Echoes of the past ping around asking me to choose which ones I will listen to. Will I choose the stories of sadness and sorrow or the ones that I have changed on purpose? Can I make new memories from those that have been changed by healing and forgiveness? We are memory based creatures all of us building our awareness out of expectation and familiarity.

When I was little, December 6th was the night that my mom would instruct us to leave our shoes outside our bedroom doors. We would wake up on the 7th to discover them filled with special treats- clementines, and chocolate Santas, pfeffernusse cookies and little marzipan piggies –all gifts from an early visit from St. Nick.

We had advent calendars that opened little windows with a gift inside them. Every day was a countdown to Christmas and the New Year. I loved it more than my birthday, Easter, or any other special time. This was the super bowl for kids and I was going to play it till the end.

Then, years later, alcoholism, loss, severe poverty, fear and anger took away our family’s stories of Christmas. Granted it wasn’t all bad, my mom still cooked the goose and baked cookies but the Spirit was gone, (or maybe drunk with sorrow and vermouth in the backyard) and anyway we couldn’t find the spirit of the holiday anywhere.

To add to the new story as it unfolded in short order both my parents got sick during this month and died in February a couple years apart and after their passing when I was in my early 30s. I just wanted to boycott the entire month of December altogether as (for millions of bad reasons) we just couldn’t manage anyway. For years I used to get ready to pull the covers over my head and couldn’t wait till it was all over.

Even Scrooge was too happy for my taste for a while.

Now years later again, enter my husband the ever-cheery Christmas elf! It was he who re-introduced me to the joy of the season and it became a new story yet again. No longer did I have an allergy to the holidays, in fact, I learned the other shoe already dropped (actually it was a whole closet but who’s comparing) and it was Ok to give myself permission to feel good and to know gratitude. A new story again.

Here’s the deal – this and that is true. The past is true according to the lens you see it through. What was once sad and horrible for me is now poignant and meaningful. But they were once both. I honor that today but I choose a new story. I want to live in the solution, I want to be the forgiveness, and I want to think about others before myself.

So I don’t wait for St. Nick to come to fill my shoes. I find someone in need to give to. I don’t drink anymore so I know I won’t be the slobbering idiot at the party (I will be 33 years clean and sober in a few weeks). Actually, I like to go to bed at 9 pm so parties are kind of a stretch anyway!

I listen when a friend wants to clear the air instead of insisting on them hearing my side of the story because I can’t bear the thought that my actions might have hurt someone. I make amends and I do self- care and I do the best I can when I’m not doing the best I can. Today I want to be a better friend regardless of my disposition to isolate. I can do things differently.

I have learned I don’t have to try to recreate the past nor cling to the big promise of the future anymore. I make the present work. It’s not just an inside job, it really is about the doing of it all too when it comes to this particular aspect of memory making.

Yes, I get insecure, even envious, sometimes paralyzed and subject myself to all manner of old stuff when triggered but only for a short time.

Actions make new memories, thinking about them is a good beginning but it’s the doing of them that changes things. Yes, it can be hard. So what! My ass is too big and my joy too wide for the pity pot these days (actually it’s just right, to be honest, but you get the idea ). And, well, If we do what we did we will get what we got. I don’t want to feel shitty at this time of year. I want to be part of the solution even if I don’t know what that is. I sure know what it isn’t.

At this moment.. I am going downstairs with my amazing husband adorable bunch of hilarious tiny ridiculously cute Pomeranians, and am going to sing carols and get that tree ready for trimming with sparkles and lights and more love that I’ll be consciously sending to everyone on the planet who might be suffering while I am not.

You see this and that is true too.

So… love to hear from you now. How have you changed your memories and begun to tell a new story? If you haven’t yet, how will you?

We are all powerful co-creators and we can all dive in right now together.
Now- my tribe… tag you’re it!

Love you always and forever!


Showing 41 comments
  • Marietta

    Thank you so much for your blog, Colette. It always gives wonderful food for thought. Since Oracle School last year, I slowly, but surely moved into such a better place. Through your card decks, the Universe is talking, supporting, confirming and redirecting me on a daily basis. You have helped me to establish a very strong spiritual practice and I am reaping the fruit. 🎉

  • Lorna Pinder

    Truly inspiring Colette ❤ Yes we can all sit in dirty diapers but i choose to tell myself a new story this Christmas. For me its the magic and the essence the here and now and to be truly grateful for what i have rigjt now and everyday forever. ❤❤

  • Marijke Lindner

    Hello Colette,
    How I remember the days when we put our shoe by the “coleman” stove on December 5th and wait for the goodies to arrive from “Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet” in Holland, where I grew up. I still buy the little dutch treats in a store in Edmonton, and share them in christmas stockings. I have grown up with your tribe for the past three years and so grateful for my new family. I became an “Oma” for the fourth time this May and my granddaughter had a new baby boy blessing a few weeks ago. Isn’t life grand living each day to it’s fullest. Happy holiday blessings to you and your family. Life doesn’t get any better than this and I am grateful for all my blessings and share them with everyone.

  • Marijke Lindner

    Hello Colette,
    How I remember the days when we put our shoe by the “coleman” stove on December 5th and wait for the goodies to arrive from “Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet” in Holland, where I grew up. I still buy the little dutch treats in a store in Edmonton, and share them in christmas stockings. I have grown up with your tribe for the past three years and so grateful for my new family. I became an “Oma” for the fourth time this May and my granddaughter had a new baby boy blessing a few weeks ago. Happy holiday blessings to you and your family. Life doesn’t get any better than this and I am grateful for all my blessings and share them with everyone.

  • Linda

    Thanks for the uplifting words Colette. I was having this discussion yesterday how this used to be my favorite time of year but not so much in the past years. My second Husband could not have cared less about the Holiday though we would travel to Brazil and have a fabulous time with his family. Now we are no longer married, my family is all over, a less than stellar year financially, and I have lost the job I had to help supplement my business. This very second I have a roof over my head (unlike many in California), my family is healthy and there is food in the cupboard. I will go to the office and who knows what may happen this afternoon. This holiday will be one of gratitude and love as that is what I have to give and I am so blessed. The tree may be bare underneath though the lights will be on and peace will fill my home.

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      our tree has no gifts.. we give to charity instead but in that empty space is all the love in the world. oxoxoxox

  • Anonymous

    That is a wonderful post…. thank you for it…. it will be a new story for me this year and this sheds great light on how to write it!

    All the best to you and Marc this season!


  • Anne

    Thank for that very inspiring post Colette! My story must be different this year and this is a wonderful thesis for creating it….My family has decreased, I have moved homes, and made new friends….it is exciting to move into this season of love and sharing from that perspective.

    Wishing you and Marc a wonderful Christmas this year

  • Gerry Kenny

    Colette, I feel the remnants of your painful memories and thoughts, but allow me to remind you how much you are Loved, Respected, Cared for and Remembered during this month and every month by those you are in contact with. Your life story is, like you, truely inspiring and uplifting.
    You are my Hero
    You are my Guiding Light
    You are indeed Your Gods Chosen Messenger.
    Your road has been hard, but you have crested the hill and from here on home it will be hughly rewarding for you and your husband.
    Love and Light to you and your husband and of course your family of furry friends.

  • Gwen Mariani


    As always, you are right on target. After the long weekend, lots of people around and much to get ready for, I woke up overwhelmed for what is to come and all that needs to get done on top of the daily routine. This was a great reminder that I am not alone and that self care, taking control of my peacefulness and not giving my power away to energies that may not be mine are also part of the holiday magic.

    Wishing you and your family a great holiday season!

    Thank you,
    Gwen Mariani

  • Diana

    Vermouth and violence are a few of my Christmas memories. But, I too work to stay in “The Now” and create new, joyous Christmas experiences. Thank you so much for sharing your truth, Colette. Your honesty is appreciated. It is healing.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Holy Days, Collette♥️ I’m sitting here monitoring my emotions, after reading your poignant blog. I’ve experienced two life altering events during the Christmas season. The first time I was 17; the second at 29.
    Both of those times I thought my world had ended, and for years felt emotionally challenged with Christmas.

    As it turns out, those life altering events were Christmas presents gift wrapped from Spirit♥️ They set me free with the choice of “a fork in the road.”
    Like you, I have a husband now, who loves loves the holidays, and grandchildren that rival him😎. Your blog reminds me that it’s okay to be happy during Christmas, that love lifts us all, and I have a lot of love to give and receive♥️ Thanks being you, Colette!!! Much love to you and your family🙏🏻♥️

  • Jan Kent

    Ahhh I needed this🤗Thanks so much Colette!❤️❤️❤️

  • Windsor

    I have been viewing the world in the eyes of love now and this ultimately began when I saw that the love was inside me. I realized I did not need to pull love from any person or outside source to become happy or enlightened. I was and am always being supported and given love through source. I am that source. I now choose my words wisely. I choose my actions with the intentions of love. I choose to be grateful and I listen to others and open my heart every day and every moment. The key is an open heart. Thank you.

  • Kathy Losic

    Colette, Thank you for your wonderful words. This can be a difficult time for many and however bad we think it is, it could always be worse. Things are different for me since losing my Husband and Sister but I have went on and have lived through it. I love your Oracle School and this has helped me a lot! I thank you for that!!! You have given so much and it has helped many people get through their own lives and been able to move forward. I am Wishing you and Marc and those beautiful fur babies a Very Merry Christmas and the best of new Years!

  • Vonda

    You are such a blessing Colette! I look forward to your weekly message as it is always fitting and inspiring. Thank you for reminding us to live in the present moment, giving generously to Life coming from a place of gratitude.

  • Candi

    Dear Colette,
    Your Christmas message came at the perfect time because all week-end I was lamenting about how sad Christmas is because my kids cannot come home for the holiday anymore due to their jobs. I used to love the holiday but have not for the past two years due to the fact we cannot all be together as a family. But you have inspired me and I will be changing my tune. Thank you for your wisdom and words!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      thanx for writing we really can have a great xmas if we let ourselves!!

  • Ginny

    Wonderful words, as always, Colette; you give of yourself so deeply. Thank you! You, and I, and so many others have not led a particularly ‘conventional life’ and yet tradition mixed with commercial interests sometimes hammers at us with what our holiday ‘should’ look like. But we know it is the warm feeling underneath that is the important thing and I reach that by choosing from my own personal grab bag of meaningful things. Christmas a la carte. DIY Tradition. A bit of this, some of that – whatever I have at hand that gives myself and/or others joy, whether alone or in a houseful, home or abroad, at work or resting. I find it’s different every year, too – no expectations. Christmas is no more than a fluid, changing, etherial gathering up of whatever positive feelings and energy one can cherry-pick from one’s present circumstances and surroundings. Joys are everywhere, large or tiny. If one really can’t find any – give some. Warm hearts and home to you and yours!

  • Elsja

    Hi Colette,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. Too often the “shoulds” take hold at this time of the year, and even as I know that, I often fall into the trap: my kids should, I should, my husband should creating dissatisfaction within me. And yet I have so much to be grateful for!
    Have a lovely Christmas in the U. S of A, from down under in Australia 🤗.

  • Vera

    HI Colette yes I do too remember St. Nick and all those beautiful happy feelings that come up when I think about it. Living in Australia for the past 30 years with all my family in The Netherlands, I too do miss my family. Like you I was not blessed with children so yes December is a month that can quickly come and go for me really. I still cannot get in the spirit for myself and do not want to get invited by others who feel “sorry for me”. But having said all of this, me and my husband we do make something of the day, making nice things to eat etc. go for a walk, and smile a lot and feel appreciative of what we do have. Life is good… A Very Happy Christmas to you and thank you for all your insights this year X

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Colette,

    words of this blog just wrapped my tired spirit and changed the direction to the joy of everyday little things. I like to read your stories written with honesty and love.
    It takes courage and I thank you for it, because it touched my soul again when much needed.
    Thank you Colette and have a wonderful holidays with your loved ones.

  • Jo

    Thank you for sharing Colette. I am in tears as I write this. so much has happened in the last 4 years. And just when we have had one loss, another comes. This is the real “stuff” of life. I have just been journalling and feeling really sorry for my self, asking why all these bad things have been happening to me, and asking if I somehow attract them into my life. And then your post… It seems as you were talking to me. So now, I will change my story. The past, is just that. It has no power over us, unless we allow it to. I am not one to wallow, but yes, self-care and stopping the self-blame, and being grateful for everything – no, for EVERY-ONE, that I have in my life. I am truly blessed. Bless you, and yours. Have a blessed festive season, filled with love, laughs and light. Xx Jo

  • zelda butterworth

    After an unexpectedly traumatic year i have a little trepidation about this Christmas. For me it,s the chance to share & show my love to family but my small family (what i thought was close knit) has splintered into many pieces and i am no longer feeling my usual joy for the season… before reading your blog i had decided to change from love & sentiment to fun & silliness so i can still enjoy without the sadness & who knows the deep love may come back but your blog is timely confirmation its okay to make some new fun christmas traditions and not dwell on what was. Wishing much peace & new adventures to all this christmas season xx

  • Helena

    Hi Colette, Really enjoyed reading your Blog. I must say Christmas is one holiday that I really struggle with. I think Christmas is a magical time, the snow (Canada), the
    flickering lights, treats, family and friends, but through the years it’s lost most of the joy. People struggle during this time of year, money, loss of jobs, depression. It has
    also become too commercial. We barely finish with Halloween and then the stores
    are full of decorations, music. My parents have passed away. My siblings are bitter
    and no one talks to each other. After a bitter divorce..separated from my own
    children for many years, it’s a hard time of the year. But chin up, roast, bake and put on a smile for everyone else that we love. Happy holidays!

  • Lisa

    Hi Colette .. wow .. that blog is fantastic .. thank you .. I haven’t been feeling the greatest and reading it lifted me .. much love Lisa

  • Diane K

    Thank you for your blog this week. I also wanted to pull up the covers until after New Years and then return to life. I had to learn to love all my experiences and accept that nobody has the Perfect holidays. I discussed this with a Minister and he said something that has completely changed my feelings about all my holiday memories and feelings. He said that it wasn’t the memories as memories are just memories, it was the emotion I put to those memories. Wow what a shift I had. Oddly, I was able to remember some of the good memory and able to make new memories. Just as he helped me, you Collette with your teaching and OS has shown me over and over when the student is ready…the teacher appears. Today I am able to give to those less fortunate and help to make their memories a bit better and not to focus on my past. Thank you, thank you for all you teach and I am forever grateful for being able to take your classes. Xoxo to you and Marc this holiday season. Enjoy that new puppy, just remember it is like having a new baby. I am a new puppy owner also and forgot just how much they require. With that said my heart is happy for the first time in months since I put my beloved Darby down. I asked him to send me my new dog when HE knew I was ready..enter Bella …oh is she sassy and a handful. Darby knew just what my heart needed. Life is good in Simi Valley, Ca today, because I allowed it to be.

  • Deb Alexander

    I always loved Christmas…decorated up the wazoo! 7 years ago my son died in a car accident the night before Easter. It is very hard to celebrate and be happy. Lately in our community death has hit the young again. My vibration has been low, because of being an empath and feeling the sadness everywhere. There are times that I just sit and cry. My grandkids are my shining light, and I need to remember that my son is watching over us. I know I need to “allow it to be” and to live in the moment more. The past is the past, but when you miss loved ones, it is hard. Thanks for listening.

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      I get it … keep your eye on the grandkids and their bright lights. I am sure your son would want you to keep your heart open = holding space for both the joy and the grief. Its not one or the other.. sending you so much love

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