Why do you celebrate Christmas? What do you celebrate at Christmas?
With my life pared back to bare bones during our renovation and narry a bauble in sight, let alone a tree or piles of beautifully wrapped gifts, I find those two questions popping into my mind.
When you take away the tree, when you take away the baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating frenzy, what is left?
A couple of years ago I sprained my ankle badly in the lead up to Christmas and thought I found out then what was important. Being laid up certainly made me aware of my priorities and to let go of the irrelevant or ‘busy’ work. But I realise now that was just a first step.
I have always been a bit of a Christmas perfectionist. Alright, alright – I can hear my family’s voices of protest already – I was a LOT of a Christmas perfectionist. I loved to have everything ‘just so’. Beautiful tree. Beautifully decorated, clean and tidy home. Delicious meal. Candles, inspirational music. Perfect gifts for everyone, wrapped within an inch of their lives. You get the picture. And it was difficult for me to let anyone else help me with the acheivement of the perfect Christmas.
And I realise now that in my quest for perfectionism I lost sight of the most important thing.
Those I love. The very people I thought I was doing it for.
Funny how we delude ourself in our quest for perfection.
This year there is no room for perfectionism. Traditions are out the window. Not just changed or renegotiated.
And I am feeling an immense sense of freedom, of liberation from expectations and requirements.
It is like the changes I see in my home. As the coats of paint go on, covering the previously bright, multi-coloured walls with a beautiful, calming, peaceful shade called Handmade Linen (don’t you love that name?) right through the house, I am feeling a new lease on life. An injection of simplicity, of calmness. A feel of opportunity and possibility. I know these changes herald a change of pace, a reinvention of my life.
And like the possibilities in my life, I am seeing possibilities in the celebration of Christmas simply this year. One of focussing on the people, and not on the trimings.
A Clearing Space Moment
In the madness that is the final couple of days before Christmas, can you stop for a minute and think about how you’d actually like Christmas to be, if there were no expectations at all.
I like to imagine a keyword, something that represents a feeling or state of mind. Something like ‘simplicity’, or ‘love’, or ‘family’, or ‘fun’…
What is your keyword for how you’d actually like to be and feel? How will those you love feel about that?