Being a deeply sensitive soul can be very challenging at Christmas, and I'm not just speaking of decorations, visual stimulations, supermarkets and shops full of mess, noise and lights.
Those are obvious, and of course there are ways to keep everything under control, like a natural and very coordinated decoration scheme, solo time to breathe, maybe in the woods while collecting boughs of fir and holly to be used for decorations, or just driving in the countryside, light food, rest rest rest, table lamps, set the multiaction Christmas lights on slow actions, and so on.
But what challenges me the most, is surely what Christmas makes visible, and that if during the rest of the year you already difficultly accept, becomes really nearly impossible to bear at Christmas.
Insensibility. Pain. Materialism. Self- centeredness and Selfishness.
You are there, staring at the Christmas lights in wonder...
You're ready to go out on Christmas morning, singing out loud awakening everyone, and running to and fro full of excitement like the well- known character of Dickensonian memory...
'I don't know what to do!' cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. 'I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!'
Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious! Glorious!
C. Dickens, A Christmas Carol
... And instead, what Christmas makes SO very visible is all of the opposite. Pain, poverty, insensitivity.
You find yourself standing still in the middle of the road, silently observing the world moving around you, the choices that people are making. You're quietly observing, without judging but feeling real pain at times. You see what you'd like not to see, and hear what you'd like not to hear, yet you cannot go and tell everyone hey folks, this is the time to be good! To be generous! To let go and love each other! For me this is THE time of year to celebrate supreme Love and Goodness. To be really really good, to be generous, in peace with each other, selfless, to feel the magic and wonder, to sing out loud. It has always been this way, since I was little.
Everyone around you looks so stressed (and honestly doesn't look very happy...) and you wonder why on Earth they are? Stressed to celebrate Love?
You see that man on the side of the road, and your hearts is aching more than you could ever express in words. You think of Mary Poppins, and the old bird woman... and you know you don't have a magic wand to make it all change in a nanosecond.
And this is the real challenge for us, because you feel so much pain for the world and would love to be able to heal it, instead.
So what you end up to do, in such a challenging time?
You nest in quiet and silence, you celebrate your own way, alone or with your loved ones if you are so lucky to have them nearby, food on the table (the right amount), songs and laughter (soft, please), time for prayer and meditation. You stare at the tree and the Nativity, sending good thoughts and vibes to the world. You read yet another time A Christmas Carol by the fire, and all of your favorite pages from your favorite, comforting, dear books. Journals and written pages galore. And for sure, you dive deep into the old cards from past Christmases, full of love and warm memories. You set a fabulous table even if you have no guests, make a stunning centerpiece, cook something yummy, listen to the crackles of the fire and the sweet smell of the burning candles. You pet your puppy, even if in your thoughts. You share smiles anyway and send silent blessings to everyone, even to those who made your heart bleed, but set firm boundaries around you. You disregard the surprised sights or comments when "normal" people do ask you about Christmas and you have something different going on (like 30 paintings and three teddy bears in the making, and no wine in the fridge). You remember the past times and watch the old pictures in quiet. You play. You work, but with no pressure because it's Holiday time. You heal. You are patient (may need extra of this one, and very deep breaths and a new box of tissues on hand). You stare at your 11 Christmas trees (and all of the many decorations, maybe a bit too much for visual peace but it's Christmas!) you made to make the essence visible.
And of course, you wrap your own gifts you bought for yourself as you really deserve them!
From our home to yours... Merry Christmas everyone (and Joy and Peace to all of those who don't celebrate it as a religious festivity)! May it be filled with Peace, deep Joy, Love and Gratitude to keep all the year.
P.S. These pointe shoes I bought and re- made especially for a dear friend, who had desired to own a pair of pointe shoes for years...
I can now show them as she has received them as Christmas gift. Unfortunately, of all of my 300+ pictures, only these three remain on my computer (appareantly, they haven't been imported from my camera and I realized that only now). So glad I saved at least three to be able to share with you, too, the simple beauty (and meaning) of this gift!
P.S.2 My hubby is doing well after surgery, thanks from the heart for all your very thoughtful well- wishes and prayers and good vibes. He cannot speak, nor eat, but manages to drink and keep the pain under control.
P.S.3 Thanks for the nice and heartwarming emails you sent me, they put a big smile on my face. I thank you here as for now, as I won't be able to start replying until Atlanta starts off, second week of January. My sincere apologies but cannot do otherwise, as I have way too much on my plate at the moment.