It is lockdown and almost everything is closed, the streets are empty and at times it is so deadly quiet I feel as if we are the only people on the planet. Yesterday the sense of isolation was truly getting to me and I was feeling very down and wondered what the point of all this really was. I recognise how easy it can be to slip into a depression and that the only way to avoid that, is to keep working each day on keeping our thoughts positive, counting our blessings and doing activities that nurture and restore us, rather than drain us.
Christmas has been a different affair this year but in many ways it has been good. I have not overspent or felt overwhelmed or anxious at any point. Although I have held back at various stages, due to circumstances, I have never felt denied or had a sense of lack. About two weeks ago, I felt de-spirited about not being able to go full out with a giant Christmas tree in the living room, decorative wreathe on the door and other festive extravagances, but actually it was for the best.
I think we need to get our minds right in what the priorities are and what the essence of Christmas is really about, especially after such an unsettling year. I set my intention to focus on reverence rather than indulgence; on rest rather than rushing and gratitude rather than gifts.
I came to realise that there was no need to try and make a perfect festive haven overflowing with food, gifts and people, as our lives are already full - God is with us, Immanuel. In a way just acknowledgement of that, lighting a candle, holding hands with whoever is around your table, giving thanks and saying grace, is enough. And that is what we did.
However you chose to celebrate, I hope your Christmas was good too.