AN AWAKENED CHRISTMAS

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I hope you all had a very wonderful and safe Christmas with your loved ones, and I would like to say a thank you for continuing on this journey in life with me. I hope that we will continue to learn and grow together in 2014.

Christmas. It’s the one time of year that hold the most potential for both good and bad. It’s the one time of year that holds all of our hopes, dreams, wishes, and everything else in every bauble and every Merry Christmas. Its the one time of year that holds potential for sadness, grief and depression too. It is also these things that had me pondering how we all ‘do’ Christmas and why. I think much of the answer lies within a single word. Expectation.

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We each old expectations in life, about everything. We each have preconceived ideas about almost everything and it is this that shapes the way we see and experience the world, and life. Is there anything bad about that? Not necessarily but it does have the potential to create content or discontent, and can keep us stuck in the merry go round that is our past, our history, our old selves. That’s not to say that tradition is bad, but I do believe that like Chinese whispers, traditions can morph into an unhealthy habit. This year I had an AWAKENING! So this year we decided to shirk our old expectations in favour of new, fresh and healthy ways of being.

As a family we have never really conformed to the whole santa thing, in fact my children have never believed in santa. Yes we have been hauled over the coals by friends, family, and complete strangers for it, but I’ve never been comfortable preaching to my kids about telling the truth, stranger danger and the like then telling them he is real and forcing them to sit on a strange mans knee so he can bribe them to be good with the promise of treats. But hey that’s just me. As someone who experienced the outcome of poor self protection education as a little girl, stranger danger and people danger are forefront in my mind – but that’s another post. Where I was going with this is when I went shopping throughout this past month it seemed as though each parent I passed looked stressed, worn out, and many had frazzled looks on their faces after glancing down at the price tag of that item their child just ‘had to have’ for Christmas. People were frantically loading up with bags of stuff, toys overflowing and generally just rushing as though Christmas Day was the last ever day to show your loved ones the true measure of love. No I’m not the Grinch, or even a Scrooge, I tried desperately to seek out the faces of joy amongst the crowds but alas there just wasn’t that many that seemed genuinely joyous. So this just renewed my decision to seek out a simple Christmas with my family.

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We have always been quite practical gift givers in my family but this year we took it to a whole new level and my girls were gracious and grateful all the same. They got the new clothes they needed, a bit of reading material, and one or two things that made them smile. That’s it. No big electronics or game stations, no stacks of makeup or trinkets….and it was refreshing. For all of us. As for Christmas Day festivities, well that was scaled back too. We had a simple breakfast just the four of us and discussed what we were grateful for over the past year. Our lunch consisted of some amazing and simple raw salads, with a minimal amount of meat – because we wanted to reduce our dependence on animal products and nourish our bodies. Then in the afternoon we gathered at the beach with nibblies, for a swim and a chillax with some amazing people. And again it was refreshing.

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It was a refreshing day because I took away the conventional expectations as to what Christmas Day should look like and just enjoyed whatever came our way. We had things go wrong, people didn’t turn up and just rolled with it, without the need to control it – we just readjusted our sails. S my Christmas AWAKENING was that it doesn’t matter what tradition or society say our special occasions should look like…we should just dance to our own song and create what we want it to look like whatever it may be…which gets me thinking about something else we have been planning – but you will just have to wait in suspense for that!

So in looking at what lies before you with the turn of the year please remember….DIFFERENT ISN’T WRONG IT’S JUST DIFFERENT….go dance!

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