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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The silly season is upon us once again, transforming regular grocery shopping trips into enduring the gauntlet of Christmas shoppers (often with young children in tow) en-mass in shopping centres, filling usually available parking – simply exacerbating the ordeal.

But this is just an accepted part of what is advertised as the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas, as it has become, is now more an annoying distraction. Yes it is nice to use this time to remember the year that has past, to reflect on the human condition, and how each of us adds or subtracts from those around us, but the rapacious gluttony that captures the population as December passes is breathtaking when juxtaposed against what the season is supposed to be about. “Good will to all”…. Just as long as there is plenty for me.

What is it that we get at Christmas?

At a tactile level, the food will be eaten, that which is not, will be discarded. The presents that are given will either be spent, used up, put away, or be broken and forgotten, or they will be returned for refund, or discarded, and only sometimes will a present have greater relevance and longevity for the receiver. In other words, one Christmas’ presents will often have no level of meaning by the next Christmas, if they still exist at all.

I use the word ‘present’ to describe that, which is bought and given at Christmas, rather than ‘gift’, which is simply given of the person to another. Such a gift is usually intangible, often ephemeral (or lasting just a moment) but its memory and meaning can remain pristine and clear for a lifetime. It may be an act of kindness, a smile, or just memories of different (or happier) times. A present is given for the present. A gift is just given – anywhere, anytime, from (and to) anyone.

Last week would have been my sister’s 50th birthday. Tomorrow will have been my younger brother’s 44th birthday, and Australia Day next month will have been my older brother’s 52nd birthday. I cannot remember how long it has been since any of us exchanged Christmas presents, but over the last (almost) eight years since the first of my siblings passed, I have become increasingly aware of the gifts they had given me. They had not bought me any Christmas or birthday presents for many years, but had given a lifetime of gifts, of which I am deeply grateful.

It is especially at Christmas that I reflect on the gifts that I have been given, and I hold tight to those precious yet indestructible gifts, lest I forget those who gave. These gifts are both from them and are them, for it is in these gifts that lives the very essence of who they were, and through their gifts, who they remain.

I wish you peace and happiness at Christmas. May you reflect well on what you have, what you have been given, and the gifts you give others every day.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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At this time of year, if you are a person of limited financial means – the media’s exhortation toward ‘expected’ conspicuous consumption RUBS YOUR NOSE IN IT…
At this time of year, if you are a person with limited social contact, or if you are a lonely person – the media and general society’s exhortation toward ‘expected’ social gathering RUBS YOUR NOSE IN IT…

If you are experiencing the season Rubbing your nose in your lived condition, the season is NOT about how much money you spend, or how expensive the gift  for who remembers the gift when it is used, broken, lost or just gone. Don’t we primarily remember the smile, the moments of happiness between friends, don’t we remember what is in our hearts ahead of what is in our hands and if there are no friends or family with whom to share the season, then try to find that moment of happiness within yourself – To thine own self be true – expectations that are placed upon you are simply the projections of someone else’s lives on you… it is their fears you feel, it is their expectations that you compare yourself with…. NO, this season calls for honesty – it cries out for honesty, for it is sadly lacking in this world at this time.

This needs to be the season of love – but not the love that is bartered… not love because you give or get gifts, or love that is conditional of being loved in return – but love that is without expectation of anything in return

Love costs nothing, yet it gives to the giver simply by being given.

Love of self, at least respect of self, costs nothing yet it is so sustaining in this time of year.

Life is a lonely exercise, for only we live in our minds – only we know our existence as we experience it… this loneliness, if we are aware of it or not, is dissipated if we accept ourselves as we know ourselves to be, not what we think other expect- To thine own self be true – and if we have friends, a partner, spouse – our loneliness, and theirs, is diluted.

‘Tis the season to simply be, and find comfort and joy in that be-ing.

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It is again May, and the radio and television is full of Mother’s Day this and Mother’s Day that… “Buy this for your mother to show her you love her”…

Do people love their mothers, or are able to express love for their mother, only on the second Sunday in May?

My mother died when I was young, and I have very little memory of her, so my view of Mother’s day is somewhat jaundiced; but even so, can’t people tell their mother they love them on days other than Mother’s day… can’t we tell those we love that we love them without a special day for it?

In today’s personally organised, deadline driven, time-is-money lifestyle, is our capacity to love dependent on what day it is?

“When do I need to tell my mother/father/partner/child/anyone else that I love them?… I’ll put it into my PDA/Mobile Phone/Laptop computer.”

Do we need to be reminded to love? Do we need Mother’s day to remind us of love (or gratitude) we may have for our mother? Do we need Father’s day to remind us of love (or gratitude) we may have for our father? Do we need St. Valentine’s Day to remind us of love we have for those closest to us? Do we need Christmas to remind us of the love we ought to have for each other?

Are we so bereft of love that we need to be reminded of it?

Then, there are some who (seemingly needing to be reminded of their own capacity to love)  judge some people’s love to be wrong, saying it should be shunned or hidden (i.e. the love of gays and lesbians).

Why do people not tell those they love that they love them? is it some kind of secret? is there some level of embarrassment to saying they love them? and if embarrassing…why?

In a love-starved world; witholding your love for another, is akin to witholding food from a starving person. Your words may be that thing that person needs to go on through that day/week/month/life…

If you feel it…say it

To those who judge love and decide what it is, who can experience it, and who can not – I say that you twist love into knots of contrivance. You reduce it to a conditional priviledge, possibly even into a commodity of trade – in that, if you love someone that person must love you in return.

No, love is not something to trade, or something to be bartered – love is

Your love is something that only you can feel – love is

Your love is reflected by another’s love – love is

Love with expectations is trade, love without expectations is love.

Love is not X Y or Z

Love is

Love is

Love simply is

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May this time grant you peace, whoever or whatever you may celebrate.

The end of another year – a time of peace for a weary world… I hope.

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