yes, it has happened. the decorations on the streets of brighton appeared a few weeks after many restaurants had already exhorted us to book our holiday dinners now.


this time of year (no matter which holiday you celebrate) invariably brings with it many expectations, hopes, desires, fears, and concerns, as well as exhaustion. in addition to all that, there are the chocolates and mince pies and the many extra pounds...both those spent in shops or online and those visible on the body. the commercial nature of this time of year drives me indoors faster than the weather does. i avoid large parts of town from 1 december to 15 january!

i wonder...is it possible to bring to this time a sense of calm and tranquility, replacing the hectic pace and worry that is so common?

we, as elders, have the opportunity to create serenity in our social environment, whether that be with blood family, chosen family or friends and acquaintances. we can express our wishes for joy, compassion and peace, our spiritual values, in every encounter with a sales clerk who is harassed and tired. we can show our caring to the mum, children in tow, who is carrying too many packages. and we can communicate our centeredness wordlessly by simply being present, fully in ourselves, in the midst of the chaos.

we can also make different buying choices that would have an influence not only on those close to us, but on the bottom line.

imagine this festive time as the one when we exchanged only hand-made gifts, gifts we made ourselves or those hand-crafted by artisans. imagine this time of celebration with only enough food on the table to feed those who are actually present. (okay, a few left-overs too). imagine leaving the table pleasantly satisfied instead of overly full. imagine this time without excess sugar and alcohol...just enough to taste the sweetness of the holiday.

imagine this time as an occasion to go inward.

imagine this as a time to honour the divine spark of light in each of the people you hold dear.


imagine this season truly filled with love and caring.

imagine this time as blessed.