Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, 2011

Merry Christmas to all clients past, present and future. I would like to take this opportunity to bless you all and wish you the very best of everything for 2012.
When I was young it was easy to see and feel the magic of Christmas. My sister and I shared a bedroom and would laugh and whisper to each other unable to sleep in anticipation of what Father Christmas might leave in our stockings. We usually got fruit and nuts and some candy,all of which were a luxury. One year we got a puppy and a kitten. We named the dog Whiskey because he had a hard time not to slip on the hardwood floors. The cat was a tabby and named Tiger because she looked like one and acted like one especially as a kitten. Tiger lived to be ancient, she died when I was in my twenties.
As parents with young kids Christmas was even more magical watching the delight on their young faces. I don’t know what was more fun watching them build with their lego or have them upset because Dad had used all the good pieces and they couldn’t finish what they were building.
As time has marched on my view and feelings about the Christmas spirit have changed. As the children have grown, family members gone, it seems harder to get that joyous feeling. Many people I talk to are upset about the consumerism and greed that seems to be spreading in Christmas. Depression sets in for many and financial burdens overtake any joy. The challenges facing the planet and each and every one of us can seem overwhelming, and trying to stay a beacon of light and hope can seem too hard.
When the Tibetan Buddhist monks first came to the Comox Valley, I was lucky enough to get a session with one of them. I arrived early in the morning to a farm house in Merville. When I entered the home there were about twenty monks sitting crossed legged on the floor enjoying a bowl of porridge. With beautiful smiles and bright faces they all wished me good morning in their broken English. The joy and love that radiated from them was awe inspiring. Being an oppressed people fleeing for their lives I was expecting the exact opposite. They were living in the moment and grateful for all that they had. A lesson I try to remember.
I am lucky enough to have grandchildren to help rekindle a Christmas spirit. Nothing says Christmas like going to watch a school Christmas concert.
As I search my memory for the best and happiest Christmas memories they are the simple times of sharing, giving and compassion that bring the most warmth to my heart. Try this year to make Christmas easier and happier by making it simple. I have been guilty in the past of trying too hard to make everything perfect and wonderful for everyone that I became bah humbug.
Here’s a family Christmas story that we usually share around the Christmas table. In the 1950’s, when my husband was a young boy,his family was struggling financially . His mother had knitted him a pair of mittens and was under strict orders not to lose them. He was one of five children and keeping them all clothed and fed was a challenge. One day close to Christmas he couldn’t find his mittens, and afraid to let his parents, know he went without . To do this in Ontario in the middle of winter is not an easy thing. His parents eventually found out and he got into trouble big time. On Christmas Day his younger, brother Bill, proudly handed him his Christmas present, extremely pleased he was able to give his brother something. On opening his gift , low and behold there were his long lost mittens.
Wishing you joy in your heart, peace in your soul, and beauty all around you At Christmas and always.