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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas - love it or hate it?

It's THAT time of year again, as we edge towards the holiday season, and people slowly seem to work themselves up into a frenzy.  Familiar patterns, old habits, 'shoulds' and 'should nots' - sending cards to people you feel you should send to, the dilemma of whether you should buy a friend or acquaintance a present (what if they buy you one?), aspiring to our socialised ideas of perfection - the perfect gift/wrapping, the perfect party, the perfect Christmas day - who can live up to all these expectations and come out of this with any kind of sanity?  I dislike the tacky commercialism, the must have it, want, want, buy, buy part of a consumer driven Christmas.  So much pressure on people for one day that has been put on this enormous media hyped pedestal.   TV adverts and magazine articles promoting the 'ideal' Christmas have a lot to answer for.

Before you say 'Bah humbug' I love Christmas! There, I've said it. I really do. It can be a magical time, especially if you have children in the family and I love giving and receiving presents and singing along to Christmas carols.  I love decorating my home (even though few see it except me!) - lots of sparkly lights really lift the spirits in the cold, dark days of winter.   

For me though, the best part of Christmas is a celebration of winter. I am grateful for the changing seasons (we are so lucky in the UK to have such defined seasons), birds migrate and winter visitors appear, brightly coloured berries on winter shrubs, seeing the naked skeletons of deciduous trees and waiting for the first signs of new growth heralding new beginnings, long dark nights cosying up with candlelight and warm woolly blankets,  wild winter storms and snow covered fields.  

I love to celebrate the Winter solstice - a time for stillness, quiet and rejuvenation - a time to pause, reflect, give thanks and to dream, set intentions and make plans for the next year.    Why don't you take some time out during this busy season and think about what you would like to experience in 2016?

Shirley



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