Over the festive period people do not stop dying, the seriously ill don’t suddenly become well, their life shortening diagnosis does not suddenly become curative and the frail do not spontaneously become spritely. Although the merriment can put a little twinkle in their eyes.
Like many others I will still be on call and serving my community. My holiday rituals are in a constant state of change and adaption which allows for a more relaxed and flowing time.
And I expect, for some of you here, Christmas and New year celebrations may feel different this year but know that, however you spend it, the best rituals are the ones that adapt with us, allowing us to create intention and meaning without locking us into a way of being that no longer applies to our current reality.
It may be your first Christmas without a loved one.
It may be your last Christmas with a loved one.
It may have been reorganised due to ill health.
It may be your first Christmas with a new addition to your family.
It may be your first Christmas in your new home.
It may be your last Christmas in your home.
It may be your first Christmas without extended family.
It may be your first Christmas with very limited finances.
It may be your first Christmas with someone struggling with their mental health.
So take your holiday rituals and adapt them; infuse them with new meaning and appreciate them for what they truly are – reminders of love, of our humanity and of our need for connection.
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
Attributed to a 7 year-old named Bobby
With tender hugs