Christmas is a funny time, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s joy-filled and fun. Other years it’s a time to get together with people you may not normally see, sometimes forcefully and awkwardly. For some it’s religious and for others, it’s simply a holiday. Whatever it means to you, I wish you a beautiful Christmas. Being based in Europe now, it has given me a beautiful insight into other traditions. We have our very first real Christmas tree, a sustainable fir tree with little decorations that we didn’t know to put in a pot of water for we have never had a real tree! I was fascinated to learn in Germany they light their trees with real candles, with buckets of water to douse the tree should it catch on fire. The Christmas cracker was actually invented in a London 1847 in a sweet shop by a gentleman, Tom Smith, which he called Bangs Of Expectation. They were such a hit that by 1900 he was selling 13 million a year. According to tradition, you should also eat a mince pie every day on the 12 days of Christmas to bring good luck. I’m down with that! Although technically it’s illegal in the UK to eat mince pies on Christmas because they were banned in the 17th century along with the consumption of anything gluttonous on 25th December. Clearly, one that is not followed, but has also never been legally rescinded! Santa also wasn’t always dressed in red, this one I found out from my advertising days – it was actually Coca Cola who commissioned the depiction of Santa in the same colour as the Coke cans. Also, Santa was calculated by US scientists to have to visit 822 homes a second and travel at 640 miles a second to get all the world’s presents delivered Christmas Eve. Lucky kids can’t do the math.
I will start the day very early with a special tea ceremony, and of course meditation, as everyone I imagine will sleep in a little later than normal. Marley now a teenager means rushing to see if Santa has been off the cards. This year we are in London, just us three without our families, with a beautiful long lunch planned with our friends Elliot and Scott. We chose an Italian theme, seemed fitting for Europe and will likely end up watching Love Actually on the lounge stuffed full. The chance of our having a white Christmas is apparently 1/10, pray for us!! However for it to be officially classified as ‘white’ a single snowflake needs to be observed falling from the Met Office HQ within the 24-hour window of Christmas Day…
And my favourite finding on is where the colours of Christmas come from; green is a symbol of life and rebirth, red symbolises the blood of Christ, and gold represents light and wealth.
So each time you see Green, be reminded of the continual and endless cycle of life and death, and know within you is your capacity to be reborn at any moment into your true self and not the expected self your family might hold for you.
Every time you see Red, hold that you have coursing through your veins blood, the same as all the amazing people you have met and not met, that you share the same the consciousness of the Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Mohammed, Confucious and all the myriad remarkable people that have walked the earth. That for every incredible person I quote here in these letters, know you are just as special, and share the same humanity we all do.
And every time you see Gold, bring to mind your inner light, and the inner light that every human has within them. Consider your immense wealth of love, gratitude, kindness, compassion and grace that is yours. Consider by comparison all the people who may have more ‘financial wealth’ than you, but not the inner resilience and strength, and make a vow to address your mindset around abundance. Every time you see the colour gold, let it shimmer and hold for you a place in your heart that represents love and be free-flowing in your love for every single being.
Merry Christmas to you and all yours, from me and all mine.