It’s that time of year again. The TV is filling up with Christmas movies and ads, the daily countdown has begun and the shops are stocking shelves full of Christmas goodies. Yes. It’s inescapable. One of the most stressful times of the year is almost upon us again. However, there are ways to make sure you stay with the true Spirit of Christmas.
There is a Christmas carol called ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear’ which has the line ‘Peace on Earth, goodwill to men’. I love that line because it reminds me of what can be so special about the festive season. The desire, for however short a time, to feel the peace and goodwill all around. Families, friends and all sorts of strangers become more open to the idea of giving and receiving. People wish one another well. We all hope for a few days where the news that comes across our TV screens is all positive.
The lines before that one mentions angels bringing a message of peace. Angels represent the kind of love it can be hard to find – unconditional love. The feeling that happens when we recognise completely that the other person is the same as us. A human being. So when Christmas stress all gets a bit too much for me I love to find a church, quiet place or or open space where I can remind myself that we are all the same. I sit quietly and ask the angels to help me both feel peaceful and to behave towards all others in a peaceful way.
I also look very carefully at what I am doing. Am I bulk buying enough stuff for a month when I only require food for a few days? Is my list of presents to purchase getting too long and involved? Do I really intend to go out for a Christmas meal every night for a month? And lunchtimes too? Then I visit a local charity shop to remind myself that I actually have all that I need but others might not have. It’s important for me to consider those who don’t or can’t celebrate Christmas. Giving is a way to share goodwill.
That makes me realise that perhaps I’m putting stress on myself. The smiling, relaxed me has disappeared inside a het up, frantic shopper! So I step back and smile at as many people as I can. I go and watch the children queuing to see Santa looking for the excitement and wonder in their eyes. I make a date with family and friends to watch the Christmas lights get switched on. And sing loudly through the carol service in the square. So that when the day finally arrives I can wake to a morning world with peace in my heart and goodwill in my thoughts.
Whatever your beliefs, over the coming month I wish you a happy, peaceful, sharing and compassionate time.
Day 737 of my blogging challenge