“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” – Kipling
The last lazy Sunday before the festive season really gets going and I am tiptoeing into the day in stockinged feet. It feels like an afternoon to try and keep calm as the madness of materialism is in full swing.
Yesterday, I struggled to park in the mayhem, of the normally quite tranquil, local supermarket. I watched people “running blind”, to coin my father-in-law’s phrase, stressed and hassled in an urge to tick items off the list and I questioned, not for the first time, whether we have lost sight of what the holidays are really about. Even if you are not religious, Christmas should be spiritual. Even if you are not romantic, the season should be magical. No matter how independent you are, for the next couple of weeks, the people you love should be your priority.
The indulgence of Christmas for me, is not about lavish gifts, but little luxuries like putting a dash of pouring cream or Bailey’s through your coffee after dinner. It is about a chocolate truffle where there may normally be an apple. It is about inviting friends to a dinner that might regularly just be for two. It is about always making room for dessert!
At Christmas, kids movies are for adults. Frosty the Snowman forces a smile. Homes always smell of food. Walks become essential to survival; we need to move to make room to eat more. Mulled wine in pyjamas is acceptable and the heating is always on. Drinks have bubbles, music plays, doors are unlocked. Decadence doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag!!
The moments that are major in our lives are not the ones that are budgeted for and choreographed. They are the ones that creep gently up on us, sometimes with such subtlety, we may not even remember them happen. How many of us have people in our world that own a little piece of our hearts, but we barely remember the day we first met them?
Christina Rosetti captures it perfectly in this stunning, romantic sonnet:
“I wish I could remember that first day”