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- 30 Dec 2018
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Christmas is a non-event for me. Partly because I live on my own in the sticks but also because it really has 'lost the plot' and become the season for extreme commercialisation and indulgence..I found myself pondering what is at the heart of Christmas?

Christmas is a non-event for me. Partly because I live on my own in the sticks but also because it really has 'lost the plot' and become the season for extreme commercialisation and indulgence. I do like to have lunch with family or friends, if that's possible and I managed to do it this year but if it's just me and the animals, that's fine. I carry on as normal. I stopped doing the present 'thing' years ago and if I want to do a gift, for instance, for the people who invited me to lunch or as a gesture of appreciation to the local organic grocery shop which is a relic from last century (a postage stamp of a shop that has everything, dried, fresh, bottled and plastic free and where they still add up by hand), a mecca for the local community which we are so lucky to have, then I bake something. 

There is so much pressure to spend money which many people don't have (not to mention over-eat and drink) and for what? So I was very pleased to read on www.positive.news about the growing number of people donating a few hours of their time to good causes, local charities and grass roots projects in their areas each Christmas to offer a hands-on, no cost gift to those in need. On the flip-side, the national press focused on poor consumer spending figures in the run up to the big day and how redemption was expected in the Boxing Day sales for the poor retailers. How did we get to the point where it is the norm for retailers to expect such a Christmas bonus? Silly question, it's a commercial event created by retailers. But maybe the tide is starting to turn?

I found myself pondering what is at the heart of Christmas? The great thing for most people is quality time spent with family and friends and the easing up of driven existences for just a moment to create a space for good cheer and some good will too. Forget Christmas lights, this is the real luminescence of the festive season. You can always spot the person who is shining their light. They are balanced and compassionate and stand out in a crowd. It's powerful and infectious and others want to bask in the light too. Aside of any religious significance (something else I don't 'do' because in my spiritual way of thinking, what's at the essence of all the main religions unites us and not separates us), then this is what it's all about. If only, when the lights are turned on in high streets up and down the country, we could turn on our own light instead of a buying frenzy. Even better if it could remain on all year. Then, in the true spirit of Christmas, we would have ‘peace on earth and goodwill to mankind’ in the blink of an eye.

A few months ago, I was asked to write a poem about shining your light. Here it is. Festive Greetings all!

The Inner Smile
A state of being
Without any seeing,
Of tangible signs
Or rehearsed lines.

 Achieved with intent
Result of life events
Which challenge and test
Show you at your best.

A state of grace
The feeling is ace,
Knowing all’s well
A sort of spell.

Experience profound
Felt by all around.
People, planet, fauna, flora
How? It’s in your aura.

 

(For more blogs, videos and podcasts, visit www.rewildinginwales.com)

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emmaline maxwell

Hi Fiona, Thanks for your article :) - too found the news of less spending in the shops a delight, its a big ship to turn, but reckon it is happening. x

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