Tis the season for excess, balance hardly comes into it – right?
While we make merry, we can make sure we avoid hangovers, of the headache, health and financial varieties, with a bit of balance.
As usual it is not an exact thing – we don’t have to balance our egg with our nog equally, just try for some celebratory middle ground.
I reckon it’s all about ‘moderate indulgence’ – that sweet spot somewhere between indulgence and moderation, because no-one likes to miss out at Christmas time.
For me, moderate indulgence means giving more than receiving. It means giving to the less fortunate alongside children, family and friends, spending but not splurging, water with wine, and one slice of plum pudding not two.
It means healthy, lighter meals and exercise (as simple as a beach walk or game of cricket if not a gym session) in amongst the feasting and relaxation.
It means space for self amidst the party preparations and the socializing.
It means living the spirit of Christmas as a celebration of peace and love not an ode to comparison and consumerism. This year it means no electronics.
Without trying to be preachy, I don’t reckon we can really enjoy Christmas when we are worried about the trappings of it.
We can never enjoy it if we expect perfection – because the turkey isn’t always going to turn out just right, there will be a crush at the supermarket, families can be fraught and feelings fractured, arguments inevitable and the singing always bad.
But on balance, of the “moderate indulgence’ always imperfect kind, we can enjoy the character of Christmas and celebrate the spirit of the season.
Last week I sang an ode to the twelve days of Christmas and the gifts I hoped my true love, with help from the universe, might bring me (like three words of affection, two ears to listen and freedom to be what I want to be). Schmaltzy I know.
This week, in response to a challenge from the lovely Jess, I’m distilling that list down to six things I want for the world (I will forego the two week holiday on a secluded tropical island that was one of the ‘six special surprises’ on last weeks list, if it means even one of the below might come true.)
1. An endless supply of gratitude – particularly gratitude from those of us who have so much to be thankful for. We could learn a thing or two from those with so little. And with enough gratitude, particularly the sort you have to surrender into, I reckon we could achieve No 2 below.
2. A balanced world – what might that look like? I’d like to think it would mean an end to poverty, but I can’t see an end to ‘wealth’ anytime soon. But surely we can end extreme poverty, starvation, help the world’s poorest. I’d love to think balance would bring peace on earth, but can only hope, pray and act to reduce conflict. I reckon balance might save our environment, if we all work towards a more sustainable world.
3. Courtesy – there will be a Christmas crush at Coles, shopping centre car parks will be impossible to find, queues will be long, but if we all show each other courtesy, respect, then it will be in the spirit of the season. And before long courtesy can evolve into compassion and we might just achieve No 2 above.
4. Change – I know I need it, the world surely needs it. Without being prepared to change we can’t grow, nor hope to achieve No 2 above.
5. Connection – we belong when we connect and realise the things we have in common are more important than the things that set us apart, as I wrote in this Tiny Buddha post this time last year.
6. Freedom – the last wish on Jess’s list and mine – from slavery, oppression, overblown materialism and unrealistic expectations. Freedom is the ‘partridge in a pear tree’ of my list.
Wishing you a very balanced Christmas.
Linking up with Grace for FYBF.