Joy to the World
"T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
- Clement Clarke Moore
Christmas is a celebration and a time of great joy.
Joy: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying
A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight
A state of happiness or felicity.
Not everyone however will be happy at this time of year. For some there is too much expectation, too much pressure. For many it is a reminder of loss and grief can be felt more keenly amongst the tinsel and the presents.
We often exchange gifts at Christmas, symbolising the treasures the three kings brought to the baby Jesus. Finding the perfect present can be fun, but it can also become a marathon and a source of anxiety. Have we bought enough, is it the right gift, have we spent too much, or too little? These anxieties drain the joy out of the giving.
Relatives can be another source of tension at this time. Old arguments revisited, past rivalries reignited. Such tensions affect the mood in the room and it can be hard to feel joyful.
The whole expectation of Christmas, with the lead-up starting in September in the shops, can become too much and the day can feel like an anti-climax or a relief rather than a joy.
Some people are alone at Christmas and it can be difficult to feel joy.
So this year let go of expectations, of yourself and others. Remember that nothing is permanent, everything passes.
Fight the urge to look back on the past year or forwards to the new one. Draw on everything that we have discussed over the last year, be present, be mindful and make all your responses conscious.
See Christmas day as a festival of the senses. The lights, the decorations, the smell of cinnamon and clove and a host of tastes both sweet and savoury. A time to connect with those you don’t see often and a time to deepen the relationships with those you see every day.
Take this opportunity to observe beginners mind in all your interactions with others seeing them with new eyes not influenced by past experiences
Christmas day is a break from the routine, a day off, a time for self-care – whatever that means for you.
If your day it not going to plan, it is only one day. Be grateful for everything you receive be it gifts, love, gratitude or a lesson.
If you are alone at Christmas reach out. Consider joining the #joinin movement on Twitter
Wherever you are, whomever you are with we hope you have a beautiful day
Love from Karen and Chrissie