It was interesting for me this year as I contemplated what it meant to “know more and say less” this Christmas. “Know more” is about knowing ourselves, healing and breaking free from some of the old patterns based on some of our past hurts. “Saying less” is about putting our energy in places that support our true selves and our true values. “Saying less” is not necessarily about spending less (though that may be the case if that’s true for you) or about doing less or speaking less. It is about doing less of the things that do not line up with your true, authentic self. I’ll be honest, Christmas usually presents a conflict for me as on the one hand, I have felt like it is an extravagant waste of energy, money and resources as marketing encourages us to spend top dollar on decorations, on flights interstate and on presents that we give to others who are doing the same. Where we eat a bunch of food that is not usually the healthy foods I like to be putting into my body and then spend the next few days (or weeks or months depending on what we spent!) recovering, trying to find places to put all the stuff we received. The conflict has been because I didn’t want to not do this as it’s what is expected and I didn’t want to upset anyone. Besides, I do really love my family and want to show that to them, I want to give. And I do love to receive too (but without the guilt!!!) But, I want to do it for the right reasons and out of the right spirit.
So this year was a great opportunity to do things differently. We did some research about where a lot of the traditions of Christmas came from and decided to do what we wanted for a change. I still believe in tradition though and I still believe in giving so we did many of the traditional Christmas things: the tree, exchanged gifts, called our family, looked at the lights, went to Carols By Candlelight, set up our tree (the same tree we have had for 10 years), went to the Christmas parties and put up a bunch of decorations on that we found in our garage (and some new homemade ones from the kids).
(Our Christmas Tree)
(Some incredibly beautiful lights we saw)
Then after that, we did something that we hadn’t done before. We went to a free community event hosted for people who didn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas but who didn’t want to be alone either. I would have never attended anything like this previously and even the week leading up to this event, I was reminded of an old pattern I have of feeling that I don’t deserve to attend as I’m not as “hard up” or as “poor” as the people they are trying to help out (this is just another way that guilt presents itself and a reminder to do a quick clearing. Check out my services here if you want to know how to do this too). When we arrived, we were greeted at the door (despite being around 15 minutes late) and then our kids were escorted to the play space to get their face painted while I waited in line for around 15-20 minutes for a table (I guess– but time was a blur as I was so busy being in the moment, watching and experiencing before I had even sat down!). As I stood in that line, for the mere fact that me, my husband and our two children chose not to spend it in person with our family interstate, I felt that I had space in my heart to receive and plenty to give too!! I knew this was a choice that I had made. I watched all the volunteers who had given up their precious time and energy to serve others, to run after the hundreds of people who turned up and allowed myself to receive, receive, receive til I was literally in tears with gratitude. We went into the hall and were seated, food and gifts were brought to us, there were kid’s activities and live music to keep us all entertained and then after it was all said and done, we left for the volunteers to clean up! We left watching volunteers drive people (who couldn’t drive themselves) to their homes after the event. We left with bags of gifts and hearts bursting so full that we could barely contain all the love! We left thinking about Christmas, about what we have made our Christmas to mean, about Jesus and about Saint Nicolas and the many others like them who have taught us so much about love. We left with an experience of the power and love of the same spirit that was moving in the hearts of all those who gave themselves up to serve others that day. Christmas meant something new to us this year and I am so grateful for the healing and the space I have now to receive it as well as all of those who have given us so much love over the years! Merry Christmas to you all! To whatever you choose to let Christmas mean to you. Enjoy, give and receive and stay true to who you are. Much love.
And I leave you with one more image.. The Santas that scared the be-jebus out of my son Bodhi.. Do you blame him?? You can’t really see their faces after all! And why are they all wearing matching clothes??!! Hahaha!!!