The gift of Christmas
Day 358/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Christmas this year was very different to my usual Christmas. (This is my Christmas Day post, left a day or two to mull over my experiences.)
My usual Christmas is just 2 of us, my son and I, celebrated quietly with festival decor and a lovely seasonal Christmas table setting adored with Christmas fare; cherries and other berries, and our favourite stone fruits, nectarines and apricots, nuts and chocolates and Christmas Santas. It's quiet, fun and has developed into a welcome ritual.
This year a family member invited us both to join her family, to sleep over Christmas Eve, to wake with them for the Christmas Tree and the receiving of gifts, then breakfast.
It was very different to our usual celebration and here's what I noticed.
The invitation was a reaching out by my sister, that didn't come without risk. She put that aside and extended her warmth to us. I appreciated her welcome and her intention with her family to create a family Christmas, big and bold as it was when we were younger. Heart-warming.
Their home was filled with the creative spirit of her son's partner, beautifully crafted into a Christmas wonderland. Christmas trees, stockings, soft furnishings and decorative accents everywhere. Music and soft lights, and beautifully wrapped gifts, themed simply and stunningly, and tied with gold and green satin ribbons.
The uplifting smells from the kitchen as my nephew alchemised his chosen ingredients to glaze the enormous ham, served with fresh croissants for breakfast.
The collaboration by my son to conjure up Christmas cocktails, adding his "fancy pants" bar skills to the mix.
The joy and squeals of children as they opened yet more gifts and played in the pool with their favourite cousins.
To look deeply into the intentions of everyone and everything that surrounded me highlighted for me the effort that family will go to. It was lovely. It was welcoming.
Christmas brings us the opportunity to try again. To reach out, to connect. Your family efforts may be clumsy by your standards, and not quite fit your idea of how the Christmas season might be celebrated, but there are other important gifts.
For me those other gifts include the thoughtfulness of the lovely gifts that I received, and also the intentions, and efforts of those who created this beautiful atmosphere and day of celebration.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.