Hello dear friends. How are you? I've missed you.
Christmas can be overwhelming – I know, I say this every year (and usually just about now, twenty four hours before the big day). The cause of this overwhelming sensation is, I believe, due to the complex contrasts of Christmas: it's a time of luxury and debt; excitement and anxiety; hope and dread; love and resentment; laughter and tears; togetherness and loneliness; long working hours and precious time off.
Yet, Christmas is actually quite simple. At the heart of the Christian story of peace and love lies simplicity and this can be appreciated by anyone whatever their religious beliefs or circumstances. Beyond the layers of wrapping paper, underneath the towers of high expectations and lurking at the bottom of our to-do lists is an opportunity to embrace simplicity.
I love the magical moments of anticipation, the hustle and bustle of a houseful and even the camaraderie (OK stress) of long hours in the kitchen. But what I love most about Christmas are the simple things. Chirpy robins on Christmas cards, paper hats slipping down our faces over dinner and a cheeky sherry beforehand. I love the extra time that the holiday provides. I love church on Christmas Eve packed to the rafters with tots in nativity outfits. Christmas carols calm the chaos and friends and family share their laughter and remind us of our roots and strong bonds. The years bring fond memories but also new trials. We've had difficult challenges in our lives this year and I'm sure you have too. On the bright side these often bring us closer together if we're open and generous to each other.
So this year, let's embrace the complexities and contrasts of Christmas. Let's share our hearts and homes and be grateful for Christmas and the gifts it brings (wanted and unwanted). Let's learn more about ourselves and remember to embrace simplicity. Even if we haven't got there yet.
Once the wrapping paper is shred, the expectations have collapsed and our to-do list has expired we could just have the greatest gift of all: to be reminded of the simple riches of our lives and to take these into the new year. Simplicity calls.
Enjoy your Christmas xo