It is Christmas Eve morning and I am snuggled under covers, in flannel jammies, listening to a holiday radio show called The Night Before. It is broadcast on my favorite station WXPN, based in Philly out of The University of Pennsylvania. For two decades, the sleep deprived host, Robert Drake spins holiday hits, Christmas classics and alternative auditory entertainment, for 24 hours from midnight Christmas Eve Eve to midnight Christmas Eve. It is one aspect of my annual ritual, along with attending services at Pebble Hill Interfaith Church that I have been part of since 1984. Old home week is what it feels like, where hugs and kisses from friends from way back then, as well as newly met kindred sprits, abound. There is always a creative skit that would have most traditional church go-ers , shake their heads in disbelief, but I believe that the Jesus of my understanding, would appreciate the humor and heart of it. Music is rollicking and energetic and at the very end, we light candles one from the other, sharing our inner light as we do the outer and then holding them up, sing Silent Night. The building is a converted barn and the sloped ceiling contains skylights in which the candle light is reflected. Such sweet peace.
This easing into the day is my gift to myself, since I had, as mentioned in previous Bliss Blogs, been burning my own candle at both ends until there was no more wax left. Taking time to sloooowww it way down, making me-oriented choices and not just other-oriented. Closing my eyes allows me to keep my heart open all the more.
So much effort is spent at holiday time, hustling and bustling about and the truth is that MORE stuff will never be enuff! My take is that the people in your life want less stuff and more YOU. I roll my eyes when I hear how much money people spend and how much worry they invest in getting things ‘just right’ and end up in debt and exhausted. Not the Spirit of the season.
I invite you to be aware of the presents that present themselves when you bring your full presence to each moment of your life, not just at ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. Your family and friends will feel that much more blessed and will be glad to re-gift what it is that you share with them.