Whatever you are doing this Christmas, however you are feeling, the invitation is to be fully present with what is. Whether you are feeling light-hearted, upbeat or downright humbug-ish, being present with the present moment will bring you peace.
When embracing the joys of Christmas, you can find yourself overwhelmed, especially in the season of good will. Those of you who are natural givers may find yourself saying "yes" to all manner of things that, at other times, you would perhaps say "no" to. It's a tricky balancing act. The desire to support local charities, your neighbours and friends-in-need is battling the desire to salvage enough energy to celebrate, support and enjoy your nearest and dearest.
No matter what you choose to do this Christmas, give it your full attention. Whether you are serving up hot soup for Crisis, playing a game with the children or talking on Skype to friends abroad, be fully present with them. You know how unpleasant it feels when you're enthusing about your latest escapade or sharing your passion with someone and you catch them glancing at their watch or worse still checking their phone. That heavy sinking feeling consumes you and no matter what excuse they give, it can still crush your spirit.
So this Christmas make a decision to play full out. Embrace a mindful approach to the festive season. With so many distractions it can be easy to fall into the trap of nipping online or checking your status if the conversation or activity doesn't enthral you. However, if you really want to get the most out of your festive season, be present. Commit to being 100% present - with the people who are sharing your festivities; or for whatever activities you are doing.
The best gift you can give your children, (your partner or your friends) is to give them your full attention. If they are enthusing about their latest gift or gadget, go with them. Celebrate their innocence and enthusiasm. If you dive into their world, you will be filled with joy and wonder. When you play with them, step into their domain, become one with the activity and immerse yourself in their realm of make-believe. It's a great place to hang out.
Sometimes our current reality isn't quite what we'd love it to be. Our financial situation is under the magnifying glass at Christmas and we may not have the funds to provide our loved ones with the in-thing or the latest fashion. It can make our hearts ache and generate feelings of inadequacy. We may have a family member or friend who is sick, in hospital or preparing to depart our planet. However, I believe there is a gift in these challenges. It is the invitation to be present with what is. To not argue with reality. To accept each moment as it presents itself and to embrace the moment as a gift.
There is never a problem with current reality, even with all its complexities. It is only our habit of arguing with it, wanting it to be different, wanting it to be something it is not, that causes us strife. So this Christmas, whatever your situation or circumstance, you have the opportunity of giving yourself and your family and friends the best gift you can - that of your presence.
So put away your phone, go offline for a while. Choose to embody a "yes let's" attitude. Yes let's to playing a silly game. Yes let's to going for a walk even though the weather's yucky. Yes let's to helping with the washing up, even though it's a chore. Say "yes" to each moment. Be present to each moment. Give yourself the profound reward of embracing the moment and saying yes to life, to your Self and to your children/partner/friends.
You will be thanked at the deepest level. Their heart will sing with gratitude for you being fully present, without judgement in that moment. Even if they take it for granted, you will reap the benefits of being fully present to them. Your heart will expand, your mind will soften and your energy will soar. For in that mindful moment, there will be no worries about yesterday and no fretting about tomorrow. You will be 'Still'. I cannot think of a better gift you can give yourself, or your loved ones, this Christmas.