Have you done it all? The presents, the cards, the food – all the paraphernalia of Christmas… It is easy to forget what it’s really supposed to be about: ‘ peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind.’ Whether you are a Christian or not, these are surely good sentiments to bring to the fore at this time. And if we want them to be a truth in our world, we have to look at how we can create peace and goodwill in our own world.
It starts with ourselves: do you feel goodwill towards yourself? Be kind to yourself during this time, allow yourself to relax and indulge in pleasurable activities. When you are treating yourself with kindness and respect, you are far more likely to treat others in the same way.
And add a little more kindness, just to celebrate the season. Begin with those you know and love: stop and play with the children for a little while; phone a friend and tell them how much they mean to you; invite a neighbour for coffee.
Then spread your goodwill a little further, to strangers you come in contact with: give a homeless person some money when you’re in town; thank someone properly for the way they serve you or deliver something to you; give some attention to someone you are usually too busy to speak to.
And are you feeling peaceful? Let your mind relax and give yourself a break from all the busyness. Just for a day or two, don’t worry about what else you should have done. Write it down on a list somewhere and leave it for when you are ready to pick up the reins again.
And as you create a little peace for yourself, being quiet and at ease, imagine your moment of peace as rays of warmth and calm, gently spreading out over those around you, at home, in the supermarket, in the street. Just stop for a moment and imagine you are enveloping others in that peace blanket.
And maybe in a quiet moment in the morning, or before you go to sleep, you can transmit your peace towards all those who are suffering disruption, war, misery, anger, and imagine them receiving just a moment of calm, of hope.
Let’s remember what this season is really about this Christmas, and celebrate our ability as human beings to find joy, love, peace and kindness in the midst of chaos.
Have a wonderful Christmas!