It's about presence, not presents!

Ahh Christmas, the one time of the year which I have traditionally hated, that was, until I got married.


Not because Sean loves Christmas, indeed it is possible that he is the Grinch reincarnated (slightly less green...). Being married to Mr Scrooge has hastened my growing realisation that it was the commercialism of Christmas that I hated, not the festival itself.


One of my happiest Christmas memories is of me and my Nan coming home from the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve, settling ourselves on the sofa and getting on with our annual task of preparing the brussel sprouts for Christmas dinner, whilst Only Fools and Horses played in the background, watching the clock tick-tock by until it was ready for us to go back to church for Midnight Mass. Happy times.


Growing up, Christmas was never really about the presents (although they were lovely), it was about taking a break from the busyness of life, and spending time in the presence of loved ones. I think in recent years, I've forgotten that.


One bonus of arranging a house move this close to Christmas is the fact that we simply cannot get caught up in the festive hype - we can't decorate, we're not buying eachother presents (we already have too much stuff to move!) and we're working on Christmas Day, so we don't even need to bother about Christmas dinner! Some might find all of this horrifying, but it's actually really liberating!


Not thinking at presents or turkey has allowed me some head space to just be, to just experience the loveliness of this time of year. Walking in the wonderful winter mornings, the smells and sounds of the Christmas market, and the stillness of the Cathedral, now beautifully decorated for Christmas.


I'm looking forward to sharing these joys with Sean. I'm looking forward to us using our final few days in Devon to be present in the moment, to soak up the delights, and to say thank you to the universe for allowing us to be here now, in this time and space.


Christmas, it's about presence.




Christmas at the Cathedral, I took this last week in Exeter Cathedral. For me, this captures the true beauty of this time of year.

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© 2020  Elizabeth Fitzpatrick.