Time to get ready for the festive season

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, December 13 2016

I can see Christmas filling up the calendar already. There are parties for work and for friends, potlucks and evenings out. Now is the time to find those sassy shoes and glittery tops and bring them out to celebrate what I feel is the best time of year.

I’m just about to get out my Christmas cards too and make the time to send them overseas in time for the 25th. Then there’s the list of presents to buy and trying to find something someone will like. It’s a time for sharing over cookies and cakes, a glass of wine or spirits and yes, gifts, and telling those nearest and dearest how much they mean to us.

But Christmas can also be a difficult time for people, because there is so much emphasis on the happy family and inevitably with family there is dysfunction and strained relationships. How do we navigate these difficulties without losing the magic of the season?

The truth is that it’s hard. It takes a real effort to decide what you really want to do. Maybe this year is simpler. Maybe it means saying no to a few things and yes to others that promise to be festive.

Usually, my head is full with Christmas’s past and the expectations that go with trying to recreate a special day. But how about letting go of the expectations and deciding to be here now, in the moment, every day? There will always be a nagging feeling of things we should have done, and perhaps the best way is to be led by the heart. 

My heart is pretty clear about what I want to do. I try to follow it as closely as I can, and with Christmas approaching I think on how many years I have left with my children before they become teenagers and beyond that, the time when they will leave home. I think about making the day special for them and instead of recreating times past, seeking joy in now. In new traditions. 

One of my favourite traditions on Gabriola is the Christmas Alive celebration. I love the wild animals that are incorporated into the story. In past years, there has been blowing rain, but that hasn’t stopped people coming to see the magic of the Christmas story come to life over a cup of hot chocolate. 

I love singing carols and thinking about how it all started. How will you celebrate? What traditions new and old will you celebrate with your loved ones? How about a walk on Christmas Day at Berry Point? That’s one I love most of all.