“But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round...as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time, the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open up their shut- up hearts freely.”
For many of us the Christmas preparations are well under way.
The shopping and tree decorating has begun in earnest. I have noticed that this year the trees were up in many homes by the end of November which is a sure sign that people are ready for a holiday and some festive cheer. It can also be a clear indicator of the kind of year some have had, which by the way, has absolutely shot by.
I have just returned from another successful Yuletide weekend in Glastonbury with a group of amazing Tarotmancers.
It hardly seems two minutes since we were there last year. I like Glastonbury at this time of year, not only is it a pre-Christmas madness break but the town is so pretty, festooned with lights and its usual haul of goodies in the shops.
I returned home to find my family had put up our tree and decked it out with our beautiful collection of baubles and trinkets which have been brought back from many countries and others tell of my family history. Some of the decorations are as old as my children, if not older, and that is saying something!
One of the family Christmas rituals is to sup a steaming mulled wine and tell stories about the baubles. Each of them has a special memory or place, a timeless moment which can be lovingly and often hilariously remembered as we gather around the tree on Christmas Eve.
I think Christmas and all the attendant rituals, foods and atmosphere is passed down through the Mother, generally speaking that is. I look back with great affection at my childhood Christmases which were, as far as my memory serves me, loving, fun and filled with magic.
You don’t see the paper chains anymore. Who remembers glue tongue after sticking miles of coloured circles together? When the school activity of making paper chains came around you knew the holidays were just around the corner.
There are so many things that are different now.
Pop and cordial came in glass bottles and in wooden crates, crisps had blue salt bags, a brace of pheasants hung behind the pantry door, puddings had a sixpence inside and the cake was made in October. Everything seemed so much simpler!
I see Christmas as a festival of the celebration of light.
After the Solstice on the 21st we can begin to look forward to the eventual longer days. In days of old this time of year would have been a celebration of the barns being full, the cold winter days ahead were not to be feared as there was plenty, especially following a successful year. It is a time to be thankful for what we have and to our loved ones in spirit who have gone before us and enjoyed an earthly Christmas from which we take so much. I will, no doubt be raising a heartfelt glass to my ancestors.
‘Tis the season of goodwill.
Lord knows we need to remember to practice that this year, goodwill is beyond culture and creed, it just is, Santa shouldn’t come to western, first world kids, the spirit of giving and thoughtfulness could and should be a matter for the world. Perhaps each of us could make that world go around for someone less fortunate than ourselves, compassion is a catalyst for healing and the world needs that aplenty.
Christmas is truly a fabulous time of year, it sparks something in the imagination, it fires the heart and stirs the spirit.
My Christmas wish for you is that you know peace, prosperity, purpose and much, much love.
A CHRISTMAS SPREAD.
STAR. What influence for me is on the horizon ? (This card indicates a forthcoming trend or influence which will be useful for you to know about.)
GIFT TO ME. What can I give to myself that will best serve me?
GIFT FROM ME TO OTHERS. How can I be of service to my community or environment?
HOLLY. Which area can I excel in or make better? (This card suggests what you can do to improve or make good in a particular area.)
MISTLETOE. Relevant information about relationships. (This can be about personal or professional relationships, in particular one that is currently important to you.)
YULE LOG. What is MY message TO my ancestors? (What is it that you wish to express from the heart to your ancestors?)
CHRISTMAS TREE. What roots or foundations do I need to put down for next year?