I love the Christmas lights, smell of aromatherapy candles, the upbeat Christmas songs and also the more peaceful, solemn ones.
I see great Chrismas spirit everywhere where people go that little bit extra to make someones day special, memorable and to make them feel noticed, appreciated and worthwhile.
Of course, I also see people who become stressed out by the weight of expectation thrust upon them, promises they are trying to deliver on and promises they have no hope of delivering!
Christmas is not a happy time for many and in our happiness and joy in the holiday season we need to also pause and reflect on loved ones gone before us, those who are ill, facing financial and other hardships and also be mindful of those who have no desire to celebrate anything as the occasion may be meaningless.
For me, having 2 kids age 7 and 9, I am bombarded on a daily basis of the logistics of how santa gets to deliver everything, know where everything goes to, how he gets down our chimney as we have a restricted flue outlet and whether we need to have an alternative meal plan for him on the big night.
Santa is also getting online big time and my kids told me today, that on Christmas Eve, you can downlad an app that shows his progress across the globe!
It is hard enough to get them to sleep at the best of times, I am exhausted even thinking about what time they will eventually sleep on the night in question!
I used to have such a romantic idea of the wind down to Christmas but in reality it is more psyche up than wind down.
In my mind I used to envision, the fire on, great Christmas feel good movie, glass of wine and nibbles and a cozy spot on the sofa with my husband. Christmas tree lights twinkling in the background.
The reality is so different. Its race around doing everything when they are eventually asleep and then luckily a cup of tea and a few chocolate biscuits before wearily plodding up stairs to try to get some shut eye a few hours at best before D-Day!
Then its all hands on board and a busy day thereafter!
Of course it is easy to get caught up in all the presents and gift giving and receiving but giving the gift of your time or service or simply offering a kind word or doing something thoughtful can be just as powerful.
Finally I leave you with a thought.
Wouldn't it be great if the positive spirit that is around this time of year could be extended to last all year around? Wouldn't that be something else?