I can’t believe how many people wrinkle their noses when I ask if they like this time of year; if they are looking forward to Christmas? “Not really,” they shrug.
How sad that we have this opportunity for a mid-winter celebration and yet so many, like me, would rather not be facing it at all. For years I struggled to enjoy this time of year. I wrote about some of the reasons for this last year in The Christmas Double Act Within.
Now, mostly, I just want to make sense of Christmas, I want it to mean something. The empty repetition of the same old stuff leaves me jaded and cynical. So rather than go through the motions one more time I decided to tackle my feelings and to try and make peace with them.
Of course I used EFT tapping to work my way through my feelings and thoughts and to my surprise a gift was in store.
I started with the ranting.
Our ridiculous consumer society bombards us with images of happy families, snowy scenes, warm cosy get-togethers round blazing fires, tables laden with food, the perfect presents chosen wrapped and gifted, and much much more. Everywhere we go there are reminders of the gross over consumption that we “should” be part-taking in trying to lure us into a world of need and want.
I just can’t do it.
I can’t be a good little consumer who just gets on with the prescribed rituals and routines, getting this that and the other just because its Christmas. I need it to feel meaningful, to be about something other than bankrolling capitalism and going through the motions.
Christmas seems to be a mad mishmash of things all squished together. There’s feasting and celebration from pagan times, there’s present giving connected to Christianity’s three wise men, and then the decorated trees, stuffed turkey’s, cards and lots of lights from who knows where, the Victorians are in the mix too.
For Christians this time is full of meaning, love, joy and rejoicing the birthing of their saviour, the baby Jesus. Although I enjoy some of the rituals I am not religious so they again feel empty and lacking in depth and connection for me.
Celebrating the winter solstice makes more sense, the end of darkness and returning of the sun; the turning of the year. I resonate with this as a reason to break open the stores and indulge. The long dark winter can be hard going so why not celebrate, have something to look forward to. We also know the sun will be back shining again on our land, enabling us to grow crops to see us through the next year. However, I have a problem with this scenario because of how far removed I have become from that planting, tending and producing. Although I do a little, my life does not depend on it, nor on the labour of my family friends and neighbours.
If it did I would definitely be wanting to sing and dance for joy and break open long stored bounty. If we had laboured hard to ensure we had enough to see us through the year I would be genuinely delighted to know we had reached the shortest day, to celebrate the return of the sun, the hope for good harvests to come.
So where does this leave me?
Surprisingly it leaves me with a sudden rush of gratitude.
I hadn’t expected this when I set out to explore Christmas. I thought I would write about the overindulgence and excess but instead I feel that internal glow of gratitude. Even although I have not grown the food myself it has been grown, someone has done this for me and for my family and I can give thanks for that. I can celebrate how fortunate we have been this past year. I can acknowledge and honour all those who enable me to live and eat well. We live on this incredible planet in which the longer days will return, crops will be grown and we will have more delicious food to buy and eat. I may not be doing the work myself but IT IS BEING DONE, and for that I am grateful and full of appreciation.
So this Christmas I will give thanks to those who make this possible, to those who do toil in fields afar, planting, tending, picking and processing so that I can eat. I will honour them by making beautiful foods with the fruits of their labours and give thanks as I enjoy every morsel.
I will also honour all those who make my whole life meaningful through their presence. I want to show them how much I appreciate the part they play in my life. They are there through the thick and thin of my human life, the joys and sorrows, they daily plod. How joyful to be able to honour each one of them with a gift, to say I love you and I appreciate you and I am so very glad to have you in my life.
I am sure that as I allow myself to fall into this place of thanks I will find more and more to be glad of not least that I have found meaning for this midwinter celebration.
This will be my annual intentional thanks-giving a time to honour all those who contribute to making my life possible either through their unseen toils or through their much closer and more intimate connection to my daily life.
This is something worth celebrating.
This is worth decorating my house for, this is worth giving presents for, this is worth making delicious food for, this is worth singing and dancing about.
I am welling up with gratitude, and overflowing with thanksgiving for what I do have in my life. This is not a time for grasping at more it is a time to feel the blessing of abundance if we are fortunate enough to have it.
If you are struggling with any uncomfortable or unresolved emotions this festive season instead of suffering why not try some EFT tapping.
Using the guide here, you can try following some of my set-up statements substituting your own words, your own pain or struggles.
“Even although Christmas feels meaningless and empty and I just wish it was all over I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
“Even although I feel angry that consumerism has run rampant and hijacked any meaning, it makes me feel sick I stillI deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
“Even though I feel this deep yearning in my heart for meaning and connection I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
Follow where you own feelings and thoughts take you, EFT is a journey to freedom.
What can you be grateful for this Mid-Winter?