photo by Marie Despeyroux
What about Christmas?
What about it? It seems to be everywhere want it or not…
I thought I’ll join in but in what? What is Christmas, what do we think, feel about it?
What a strange concept, what you see depending on where you stand, plenty of people telling us why we should love, hate, take part, not engage. It seems to be spiritual, religious or pagan or even just commercial, decadent and selfish or calling you to engage with your higher self, showing your generosity and care for all. Are we humbugging or OHOHOHing, which camp to choose? It has 3 ghosts the past one seems so full of simple joys, the present one, other people are preparing, so joyful and the future one so uncertain. Lists are appearing on social media and blogs, the 10,20… things I love or hate about Christmas. Funnily enough hate or love ones contain the same things.
I am not sure, where I stand, probably in the eye of this green and red storm, because I seem to be watching from a calm place but still hearing all the cries… the cries of joy of the lucky ones and the deep lonely, mainly silent cries of the others. As a counsellor, I hear the ones who can’t join in the fun, because of their circumstances, a time in their lives where they find themselves isolated, or because the hurt in them is not letting the good things in.
So what am I to do? Give a list of recipes and wise ways to make things better; do this, think that, engage with your inner child, outer family, old acquaintances new ones? I think not…
Maybe I prefer just what-if-ing… What if Christmas was just a word? Like a tree on which you could hang anything you wanted. What if you could just choose the things that do not depend on 2 of the time ghosts, you would leave the past behind, stop wondering about the future and just feel what your senses told you about your present experience. What if we forgot to be wise, and we stopped analysing and choosing, we refused to have an opinion or even a view point? What if we ignored all we have been told and we approached the experience as if we were discovering it for the first time. What if, for one day, we were just hanging very simple experiences of the present time.
I know for some of us it is difficult, and when I was walking alone in the crowd, made up of families and groups of friends, at the lights switching on event, I found myself thinking back to times when I had my family around me and I was surrounded by friends, I caught myself fearing a not so sure future… but then I remembered I could, like everyone else, see the lights, I could hear the laughs and the music, I could smell the lovely foods, and being part of the lucky ones I even bought myself a heart-warming drink and a little treat.
Standing there simply experiencing it for what it is now, right now through my senses, without wandering away from it, I found my home for Christmas it will be just here looking, listening smelling and tasting all the Christmassy things around me, with a silly smile and an open heart.
I know I have no lessons to teach anyone and I truly don’t know what a perfect Christmas would, should or could look like but I would love it if you could join me in my ‘just being’ at Christmas.
Dannielle Kerslake is a Counsellor at Hazelwood Counselling Services.