Raw, adjective: 9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.

Pulling a favorite cold December post out of the archives.

In the midst of all the glitter, do you sometimes feel obligated to be jolly? Garrison Keillor offers a hilarious shout-out to letting yourself be real.

Authenticity rocks. Especially in those moments wherein we feel we're "supposed" to feel (and thus behave) one way or the other. Just because we're celebrating a season of light and tinsel and halls decked with boughs of holly doesn't mean you've gotta pack away the melancholy and the blasé that can be just as much a part of being alive, day to day.

Just watch the feelings, all of them. The joy and the celebration and the bittersweet sadness that can sometimes creep in, too, when you're marking holidays for the first time in someone's absence, or miles away from the people you love, or sitting in front of the TV watching the Yule Log burn, or standing in line at Macy's behind sixteen tired and crabby people waiting for your gifts to get wrapped.

Step back, watch them, smile at how human they are, know they'll pass by like clouds in the barren winter prairie sky, and then? Just come back to the breath. It's a yuletide meditation, yo.


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