Ticking the Seasonal Boxes

In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is thundering into view!

Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas has a habit of generating plenty of extra activity, be that fun stuff like mince pies with the neighbours, or less lovely concerns around trying to juggle the budget.

I was talking to a friend about this the other day. She has two school-age children who are full-on with plays, discos, trips to the pantomime, Cub Scout parties, carol concerts and everything else. She also has a full-time job, pets and an elderly parent to care for. Oh yes, she is also a dedicated believer in everything being home-made, so that’s mountains of cooking and home decoration to take care of too.

It’s a situation familiar to many of us. Even though so much of the activity that arises this time of year is fun, worthwhile and the making of wonderful happy memories, the danger is – as my friend put so eloquently – that we wind up treating it all as a seasonal tick list. Something to be ‘coped with’ through gritted teeth. More so if you’re also responsible for a business and are trying to get everything ‘up to date’ before taking some time out. (A word to the wise: you’ll never be up to date!)

Office party? Done that. Gift buying? Done that. Writing cards? Tick. Visiting the family, tick… the danger is, as my friend said, that we become so focused on getting it all done, that we forget to enjoy being in the moment of doing.

Those school plays and carol services will pass all too quickly. Our family members are here for now, but not for ever. How wise are we being when we forget to look up, pause for breath and enjoy what’s happening right now, where we are, with the people we’re with?

It’s a thought for all the year round, really, but at Christmas it seems particularly profound.

A Merry Christmas to you, and a wonderful next year to us all.

The office will be closed from 4pm Friday 21st December to 9am Thursday 3rd January. We’ll also be taking a break from social media. See you in the New Year!

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