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Countdown to Christmas

As we are indeed on the countdown for Christmas, the Christmas tree – which is traditionally a representation of the Christmas Boughs – was displayed first in America by German settlers in Pennsylvania and later rubber-stamped by Queen Victoria and her German husband Prince Albert. The Christmas tree serves as a reminder to us that the Earth will renew itself again. This is my favorite time of year and I love decorating the tree, adorned with sparkle and cheer and mementos of my kid’s handmade crafts from playschool. Although I’m not an overly nostalgic person or so I thought, I still hang these up every year, even though they are now young adults.

I also like ‘decking the hall with lots of holly’ mixed with lots of cinnamon sticks and I am in process of drying out orange segments in my range cooker, which will make the house smell spicy, citrusy and fresh. It’s just divine for the senses, and along with all of the above, will give my home a warm welcoming feel!

Christmas is all about tradition but at the same time, I don’t let myself get bound by them because then everything becomes a chore. The origin of Christmas lies in the Pagan celebration, the “Winter Solstice”, merged with Christianity with the Birth of Jesus, but the symbolism or underpinning message is the same, the transition from dark to light and hope for humanity and the coming year.

As the year is cyclical, as are the seasons of life. Christmas is a sense of darkness all around us, of lighting the ovens, keeping the heart of the home alive with feasting, family, and a few drinks 🍸 (lest ye forget that I am Irish ☘️) exchanging gifts; not over consumerism, but buying locally, supporting small shops and businesses as much as possible.

I also find myself going within and quietly reflecting, at this Yin time of year, once the main days are behind us. Balancing hibernation – lying on a sofa, reading or watching old movies in front of a roaring fire – and also looking forward to long walks in the countryside connecting with nature, offsetting any indulgences!! After all, this time of year is for feasting not fasting, reflecting on the year gone by, remembering family and friends that are no longer with us, striving for change, praying for peace and compassion for everyone, and don’t forget to leave something nice out for Rudolph!!

Sending Love and Joy to all, Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

Maura x

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