As I reflected on my Christmas experience last year, I couldn’t help but see that I had once again been swept up in the hype of the season. It’s so easy to do – the commercialisation of the season relentlessly pushes to entice, excite and enthral us at every turn.
In order to prepare for Christmas this year, I started to do some research.
I wasn’t looking for a checklist on how to make my house pretty or what the top ten bestselling presents this season were, I was looking for support on how to stay within myself and be more relaxed during the ‘silly season’ and not get swept up in the frenetic energy that comes from needing to get that perfect present, having a perfectly decorated house, being the best host or creating the best experience for guests.
But I couldn’t find one article that aimed to support this approach; everything I found was there to entice me to do more, to have more.
As I reflected further on last year’s Christmas time, I came to realise that even in scaling back and simplifying, I still had managed to make room for the chaotic energy that drives Christmas. I had hosted Christmas lunch for my family for the first time at my new home, which had the potential to be an amazing experience, had I stopped to fully appreciate and take in the loveliness of the occasion.
What was on offer for myself and my family was an opportunity for us to connect as individuals with no roles being played, just simply enjoying quality time together. It was an opportunity to learn about each other in a different environment, reflect on the year gone by and talk about our hopes for the next.
Unfortunately the full potential of this experience was not met as I allowed myself to get caught up in trying to make things perfect instead of just being there in my fullness, allowing myself and everybody to just be.
I wondered then if it was possible to hold the experience of Christmas as a time for sharing and connecting with family and friends, but also know that the fundamental elements which make this day special can actually be lived every day of the year.
Could it be that I could live openly every day with the people I meet everywhere?
Asking myself what holds me back from doing this, I realised it was a fear of being the real me – not the perfect host, or the perfect partner or daughter – just me. Christmas so often can sweep us away from ourselves, that we forget to just be us.
As I have started to de-construct my ideals around Christmas, and the belief that this was a one day a year affair, I have felt a new found sense of freedom. Instead of beating myself up and lamenting on the opportunity missed last year, I am grateful that I have been able to truly reflect on how it played out, where the moments/openings occurred that swept me away, and where I need to go deeper in my understanding of myself so that I can make different choices this year.
I’ve come to realise that Christmas shouldn’t be a festival we celebrate for just one day a year. Remembering that Christmas can be simply about connection and being comfortable to be the real me only highlights this more, as this can be developed anytime, anyplace, and with anyone. With this understanding I have an opportunity to have another go this year, as we start to build up to the busy Christmas period again.
If connection and being the real me is the name of the game, I don’t even have to wait; I can do that anytime I choose.
Inspired by the presentations of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.
By Megan Cairney, Relationship Manager, BBsMn/BA, Brisbane
What Christmas means to me?
What I Love about Christmas
Christmas Lies, Christmas Myths and the Truth about Christmas
Christmas is celebrated at the end of the calendar year and is a time to gently unwrap and review the year just lived and to set foundations of deeper connection for what’s next.
One thing I notice more and more on Christmas, especially on the day is how as a society how we live creates the atmosphere around us. On the actual day the drop in activity levels outside drops so much it is tangible. I feel this early in the morning as well, compared to middle of the day. Or during a 2 minute silence. In cities it’s easy to see car pollution, but on days like Christmas it’s easier to feel the activity pollution we put out in our everyday movements.
Reflecting back on the last two Christmases working for at-least four hours each year to keep the job ticking over did not tick any of the usual Christmas boxes but felt great in my body. The rest of the day was spent with family and friends with some sweet tooth so called treats awaiting to once again be eaten in the name of a little bit does not hurt but it does make the ensuing raciness apparent in my body and this is yet again a part of a now daily sugar fix. This has become an occurrence that does not serve my body as sweet things of any type not only cause a racy-ness in the body they keep me up all night peeing!
Megan, it’s really helpful to read your article and be reminded that it is how I am that is important, not how perfect my house looks. And that the important part is enjoying connecting with people.
The best present we can give each other is to be open to connecting at Christmas and every other day of the year.
Yes, connecting and enjoying quality time together seems a great practice.
I have just seen more of what Christmas is .. the madness that is. It is the build up of tension from the year that has been lived wanting to be released! As well as the longing for the break because we are so exhausted through how we have been living.
Imagine if we took all that time and money we spend on making Christmas special and put into every day with this same feeling of wanting to connecting with others became normal, and in doing so we eliminated all sweets that cause the racy-ness we see around especially at this that time of year-end celebrations so called. Then maybe we would not need coffee to keep going because of our exhaustion as we were no longer using an energy sapping artificial sweetener that always over stimulates our bodies and then leaves us flat needing a coffee to stay awake. No to all that and we would have True celebration that is simple to live in every day.
Megan, this is great; ‘ I was looking for support on how to stay within myself and be more relaxed during the ‘silly season’ and not get swept up in the frenetic energy’ I can feel that this could apply to many situations in life – where there is a lot of busyness around us and if we can stay steady in ourselves and not get caught up in it all then we can stay well and connected and not get mentally and physically exhausted.
I can really appreciate that this year I am less caught up in the Christmas hype than before, I still am in this a bit with getting presents for people etc but there is less attachment to it and I am looking forward to this falling away even more as the years go on. This year I am more aware of the push and pressures coming from shops to buy buy buy it is like a buying madness being spewn everywhere enough to make anyone feel sick! What I love that you have shared here and want to do the same is instead use this time to reflect on the year and to reflect on what there is to appreciate and also what needs to change and will take inspiration from this ‘where I need to go deeper in my understanding of myself so that I can make different choices this year.’
I love what you are sharing Megan about Christmas being about connection and being ourselves, rather than getting caught up in the Christmas busyness. Great to read this as the Christmas season is starting here.
Megan – I love your honesty here; ‘Unfortunately the full potential of this experience was not met as I allowed myself to get caught up in trying to make things perfect instead of just being there in my fullness, allowing myself and everybody to just be.’ I have experienced this when I have had guests to my house and got caught up in rushing around trying to make things perfect, rather than focussing on my quality and being present with myself and connecting and enjoying everyone.
Keeping life simple is very wise, and surely whenever we get together it is about connecting with others, ‘What was on offer for myself and my family was an opportunity for us to connect as individuals with no roles being played, just simply enjoying quality time together.’
Celebrating and appreciating each other is a present we can share every day of the year. Christmas is just when many have a break from work at the same time so offering the opportunity to be together.
Christmas is a time for family, for people to come together to enjoy each others company, reflect on the past year and what lies ahead for the new year. this is something we can do on a daily basis, as we connect to people each day. We can review the days events the night before and prepare ourselves for the new day ahead, of making choices and sharing ourselves with all we come in contact with.
So often we go through Christmas Day in a buzz and hype that we avoid deeply connecting and enjoying one another. In this it ends and we are left seeking something more to stimulate us so that we can avoid the tension of not having those connections.
Christmas is a celebration of us all and where we are willing to go with confirming all the relationships we have built over the year. A far deeper level of honesty is offered over the myriad of lights, tinsel and presents we are sold through the world retail agenda.
It is always enlightening to reflect on the purpose or intention behind what we are doing and how we are moving as it is, as you share Megan, easy to get caught up is the flurry of the hype surrounding Christmas as a result. I have found that we can easily get lost if we are seeking an outcome from the day, rather than offering a space for us all to come together and share ourselves and reflect on the year just live and what our potential is and how we can deepen ourselves to live more of who we are in the year that comes. All of which is a marker of what is available on every other day.
How more I deepen the connection with myself how more I feel the what I call Christ energy.
When we strip away the complications and dramas around Christmas it is actually a very beautiful time to wind down, to be with families, friends and people and make it about connecting, sharing and celebrating each other.
When we understand and experience articles about outdated rituals, we can all experience the extraordinary liberation – and this is not too strong a word – from outdated rituals and practices that truly no longer serve us.
If we put as much effort into every day instead of one day a year it would be Xmas every day.
How we are with family and friends at the completion of one year is how we will be with them all as the next year unfolds. To be love is the most precious present to share.
Beautifully said Mary, love is the best present we can share with ourselves and everyone around us. We can get so caught up with presents and gifts when the most amazing gift is free, priceless and precious. And, that is love.
I have really shaved back on the Christmas craze but this year I noticed the thoughts to buy things was still coming in. Now having thoughts about buying something isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was the obsession and crazy drive that the thoughts came with that was not what I’d experience other times of the year. Consistently reconnecting, feeling my hands and feet, has been supportive in grounding myself rather than flying off with my head to the shops!
Incredible that you weren’t able to find any articles to support you through the ‘silly season’ when everything is aimed at getting us to spend, spend, spend and turn ourselves inside out in order to appear to be the perfect host etc. Your article is a great start and tools such as the Gentle Breath Meditation http://www.unimedliving.com/meditation/gentle-breath-meditation/what-is-gentle-breath-meditation.html are a fantastic way of reconnecting with yourself if you find yourself caught up in all the hype.
Great exposure of the trap of trying to make things perfect – thanks for the reflection Megan and the opportunity to deepen my connections with those around me at any time.
There are rhythms that are built into the cycle of life that indeed worth celebrating.
When we try to get Christmas day or any other ‘special’ day for that matter picture-perfect we will always struggle for in the hype and build up we forget to enjoy the actual organising and lead up to it – and that every day prior is just as important as the actual day.
Very gorgeous Megan. Thank you for writing this article as now we do have that support available. It is easy to get caught up in the Christmas hype – as is intended. For as you have shared there is a much deeper opportunity for us to embrace and reflect on, of how it is that we are living for ourselves, with each other and together as a humanity. An opportunity to reflect on how much of our true selves we have been living in connection to, along with celebrating our togetherness and the potential of what lies ahead for us.
It’s massive to consider that Christmas day is actually no more or less important than any other day. When we allow ourselves to stand back and observe what actually plays out, it’s very alarming.
When we choose to connect to ourselves, we will see that reflection of connection wherever we look
Choosing to connect to ourselves is being responsible, and makes such a difference, ‘If connection and being the real me is the name of the game, I don’t even have to wait; I can do that anytime I choose.’
“If connection and being the real me is the name of the game, I don’t even have to wait; I can do that anytime I choose.” Yes, so true. Connecting first with ourselves, then we can connect with others equally so. I find esoteric Yoga a great support to connect – and then choose to stay – with me.