It is interesting, as I grow older and wiser, and my children have partners and lives of their own, I find that Christmas feels different! When I had a younger family and we were all under the same roof it was financially difficult because of the expectations around gifts and the season events. However that was offset by the thrill of Shopping centres and Christmas carols which excited our little family and made the season come alive.
Now that it is only my husband and I in the house and no grandchildren as yet!! This time of year is more about my relationships and slowing down to feel connected with those that I choose to be in my life. This leads me to feel like there is so much more about this time of year than gifts and the commercial side of things. In the clinic our monthly competition has changed to a challenge!!!! (should you choose to accept). We have borrowed a 'Kindness Calendar' which has something very small every day that I challenge everyone to do. The gift of giving is not only around presents, it is also about the ability to give of yourself to others without any sense or feeling of reciprocation. It's doing something simply because it feels good and costs nothing, but to someone else it may be everything!
I remember one year a very long time ago when I was in hospital with my youngest who was very unwell and had spent years in and out of hospital. I had a school mum come to the hospital and simply arrive with no other agender than to give me a hand massage and manicure which she did then left. It was such a simple gesture and so very kind, and to this day almost 18 years later it still sits with me as one of the kindest and most unselfish things someone has done for me. It saddens me that most of us only stop this time of year to think consciously about giving to all, I have no doubt that you are doing kind things often, however how often do you stop to make a conscious choice to change the way you act and treat others? How often do you stop and ask, is there a softer way to say that so it is heard by others and not reacted upon? What is one small thing that I could do to make someone elses life easier/happier? Challenge number 2, slow down and be aware during this month of your interactions, of your words and most importantly of your stress levels.
I have enjoyed tremendously working with you all this year and sincerely hope you have a relaxing Christmas filled with love and wonder.