Christmas evokes a whole range of emotions. For many it is a celebration of the birth of Christ – “Joy to the World”. Friends and families gather together to eat, drink and be merry. Young children, their eyes full of wonder and excitement, wait for Santa. They will find it hard to sleep tonight! Christmas can also be very frantic and stressful and is a sad and lonely time for many. The mystery of suffering never leaves us, but it will be even more acute, this Christmas time. But Christmas can also remind us of the longing for joy, peace and goodwill, in a seemingly imperfect world. It can offer the hope that “a further shore is reachable from here” and it will satisfy the hunger in our soul.
But whatever Christmas means to you, try to take a moment for yourself. Awaken your senses to the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. Appreciate the colours. In the bleak mid-winter, enjoy some sparkle and glitter. Count your blessings and share loving kindness and joy with family and friends. Remember loved ones who have gone before us. Treasure childhood memories of the excitement and wonder – Waking up on Christmas morning as a five year old! Hold on to your “inner child” that instinctively knows Christmas is the Spirit of Giving.
Share in the gift of “carefree timelessness” this Christmas. Be totally present for others. When people are together it is the atmosphere that matters most. Sometimes we set ourselves up for disappointment with our expectations. Suspend judgement and expectations. Appreciate the little things that make Christmas. Practice mindful eating and drinking over Christmas. Taste each bite, noticing the balance between sweet, sour, savoury and bitter. Be thankful and appreciate those who made the food. Find some time to sit and think about what is good. Give attention to what matters most for you and your loved ones. Tidings of comfort and joy! Have yourself a Mindful little Christmas!
(c) Denis McBrinn