“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”
~ Miguel Angel Ruiz
We’re having a simple Christmas this year. Just my husband and I, Nurse Bert and Cafe Dog. For most of the day anyway. Our little farm-house is filled with love, badly wrapped gifts under a small lopsided tree with dodgy tinsel and over-sized baubles, and a fridge full of good food – more than enough to share.
Christmas has not always been an easy time for me. Family stuff. You know how it is. But a few years ago I decided to reclaim Christmas, to see it as an opportunity to spread ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’.
Starting first with myself.
Today, Christmas Eve here in Australia, I’ll walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, take some time for myself, count my blessings, hug my husband and my dogs, and top up my gratitude tank. Breakfast in the Bay (that’s Byron Bay!) and a good coffee or two. That’s my gift to me.
Then I’ll be ready for sharing the Christmas Spirit with others.
We’ll be dropping off our goody bags of homemade festive fudge, coconut ice, rich fruit cake and other tasty treats to all of the people who’ve helped and supported us this year. The library ladies, baristas and wait staff, the market vendors, the excavator man, and the bush mechanics, and the man who is always fixing our mower/chainsaw/everythingfromtheshed.
We’ll call on a few elderly friends to make sure they are okay, and take them a little parcel of Christmas cheer.
This afternoon I’ll make a pot of tea and sit on the veranda with my journal, reviewing the year that was, and being thankful for all I’ve come through, and all that has cracked my heart wide open. It’s been a big and challenging year, but a good one too.
I’ve told our friends we’ll be home all day tomorrow, apart from an early morning beach swim. Bless them, they want us to have time alone. So we will. But late in the afternoon a few will drop by, despairing of the loneliness and emptiness that has been their day, and we’ll gather them around our table. A couple of friends will come here needing a debrief after the family Christmas they just endured. Our home and our arms will be open to them. There is always enough food here to share. Enough love to go around. For so many this is a difficult, fraught time of year. I want to be able to give our friends a safe place to land, and somewhere they can feel welcome, affirmed and loved.
But today, Christmas Eve, this is my day for me.
A day to breathe deeply and surrender myself to the ocean.
A day for lattes and love, and so many cuddles.
Peace in my heart. Good will towards myself. Me first, so that I can then share that same energy with others. For me, that’s the true spirit of Christmas.
I’m holding that space for you too.
All my love, Nicole xx