Monday, December 13, 2010

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

We are in the second week of 'snow days' and Christmas is in full swing here at the beach. While I think it's a shame that we only think about 'peace, joy and goodwill' at this time of the year; I am grateful that we at least have one time of the year that we are open to the Christmas spirit.

We cut down our Christmas tree this weekend and then brought it home to decorate. This is the first tree that I have had since being back home in Canada. Unpacking the Christmas decorations – my own and my parents – was the start of the whole Christmas experience. It was a very nostalgic and at times very difficult exercise. I have always loved Christmas and my memories of Christmas with my parents was always a fun and joyful time.

Growing up and growing away from our family traditions has been one aspect of my life that has been difficult for me to deal with. Learning how to create my own traditions and to understand that Christmas is a state of mind as much as it is an 'event' has been a big part of my Christmas evolution.

Resisting the commercial aspect of Christmas has been my most recent effort towards keeping the spirit of Christmas alive. Rushing around, shopping for things that no one wants and feeling more stressed than loving is for me, the epitome of what Christmas isn't.

This year I am taking one day at a time. The weather is challenging all of the best laid plans and yet, I feel that my new mode of 'slowing down to the speed of life' is serving me well. Shifting gears and making the space for a whole new way of being takes time; time to bake shortbread, time to watch the snow and plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas tree and 15 angels that have found a home on its branches.

Christmas is a soulful time.

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