Despite feeling a bit fragmented and dusty headed when it came to our festive celebrations this year, something I was really pleased to see manifest was the desire to make a season of celebrating rather than just one day. This year we celebrated St Nicholas, the Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Presents and treats were spread out over the days allowing for a bit more treasuring and a little less pressure on ‘the big day’. New Year followed suit.
Just before New Year Stephen bought a couple of packets of giant sparklers from our local Dutch deli (chocolate heaven by the way and a great place to buy Saint Nicholas treats!), the boys enjoyed them over more than one evening, indulging their love of fire and sparkles in the cold nights that finished the year. The turn of the calendar year meant little to them but sparklers? That’s a good time.
Another little celebration was the Burning Tree Bonfire. Intended for New Year’s Day, we postponed to the next day when the rain and sleet made us throw another log on the fire and reach for a blanket instead. Ever mindful of the opportunity to bring a little ritual into our lives we made wishes on the cut (and tinder dry) branches before we threw them into the leaping fire. The smoke took our wishes for our new year to the gods and the fire took the tree that had celebrated the old year, turning it to ash to be spread on the earth.
Christmas Day this year was truly fabulous, many gifts and lovely things to share. But this spreading out of the season, the many other little high points along the way, have brought me so much pleasure too.
This practice of taking the time to celebrate life, in big and little ways, strikes me as significant. It is an idea I wish to carry with me in the coming months, planning for little high points, little joys along the way. I want to avoid the feeling of pressure that often comes along with celebrations, not the least of which is often that they fall on only one day, miss that and all is wasted. Instead we can indulge over longer periods, taking our time, meandering a little. I’d like to look for something to celebrate in each season, even in each day.
Life is to short, and too precious, to speed through and if something is worth doing why not do it several times not just once! I’m going to celebrate the chance to slow right down, breathe and take life at a more sedate pace. After all, what’s the rush?