Thursday, 27 December 2012

Unwrapping the present

With every Christmas, I find more layers. As a child, it was a time of expectancy, excitment and then unalloyed delight. As years pass, more emotions are added and the simplicity is lost.
The magic can still be found. When I looked at our beautiful tree, the memories of all previous trees are still there inside me.
I can't re-create that wonderful piney scent that you smell when coming downstairs the first morning after the tree is up but this picture nearly captures the glow of delight I feel when we light the candles on Christmas Eve.

We have our rituals as most families do. The tree is carefully chosen, painfully positioned and then decorated (always in the same order) to a very old record from the 1960's.
We are each allowed to buy a new bauble.

 And every year we say -
"This is our most beautiful tree yet!"

Maybe we are right this year?
We put great skill and effort into wrapping our parcels. In the war of the wrapping, my brother always wins!

 It is still a time of delight, of families and love-

And yet it can be such a mad whirl, with so much striving to create the perfect setting for celebration.
I felt happy yet exhausted when I looked around at my home, decorated and ready for my loved ones to arrive

And a small, disloyal voice sounded in my head
"Oh no- It will soon be all full of people and get so messed up!"

I pulled myself together and looked up at my beloved mistletoe Kissing Bunch

And my edible wreath on the kitchen door

And thought, isn't Christmas all about loved ones to kiss and friends to feed?

And yet there is still something missing.
I love to be with my family and it is right that this is a time for feasting, presents and celebration.
But as so often at this most wonderful season, the spiritual side seems to have been put to aside. I do know this is my fault entirely and I that I have made my own choices.
I suppose I have come to realise that I simply do not have the reserves of energy and resolve to create a riotous family event and to still be quiet within myself and think about the other side of Christmas.

I did lean out from my window at midnight on Christmas Eve and think, just maybe, this is the actual moment that changed the religion and lives of so many people.
I did see the flame of love and joy that I call the soul, shining in the faces of people around me.

Yet I still feel that one year, I should like to be tremendously selfish and take myself off to a still, quiet place and just be and think and pray and spend an entirely different Christmas from the ones I know and ususally love.

But for now, this little gift is enough.
All my life I have rubbed berries on bark and longed to have an apple tree with its very own magic mistletoe.
And this year I have.

Monday, 24 December 2012

That season comes

Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad.
The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody