Hallo… And welcome to darkest December

snowy sceneIt’s that enchanted dreamlike time of year. It affects us all… like all those things that can’t be overlooked – a real fire, laughter, fizz and tangerines… Christmas is looming, whether you like it or not. My father had an obsession with Christmas. He designed and printed exquisite cards  for the family and lovingly decorated the house from top to basement. His Xmas spirit and stuff and nonsense I have honoured throughout life, wherever I happened to be –  ever since he died on Christmas Day, when I was 14.

Christmas is inspiring and fearful. It’s Charles Dickens and plum puddings and nasty tinsel with bare patches consumed by naughty mice. There is a collective feeling we share with our Victorian counterparts as we all dash around the icy streets, searching for gifts and things to eat and drink. And in those dark December moments we think about the cold, the old, the hungry, the lost and found – holy babies, fluffy things, snowflakes and the dark.

Despite the massive commercial sentiment surrounding Christmas, it still manages to create a zeitgeist all of its own. This year I have decided to pay homage to the nostalgia, dreaminess, Yo-Ho-Ho merriness and unexpected changes that each and every Yuletide brings… On December 11th, at 7.15pm at the Cornerstone Centre in Hove, my next meditation will be based on the Advent Calendar in all its glory. Each and every meditation is a thing of the moment, shaped by the hour, the mood, the motive and spirit of us all who gather, so the Advent Calendar seemed a natural choice for this month.

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Can you recall the excitement of encountering your first Advent Calendar? Whether it was a card stuck to the window with 25 little windows destined to reveal teeny-weeny images of angels, kings, stars and Christmas trees or something more sophisticated, it was always fun. Then and now this particular bit of Xmas charm brings the unexpected joy of something linked to the season of gifts, harmony and mystery.

And so, on December 11th, the wonderful meditation group will be opening up cosmic gifts, connecting with guardian angels, and maybe journeying through space and time, yet always warm as toast, driving a silver sleigh across the midnight clouds, pulled by a team of fabulous reindeers, or maybe even winged horses… Whatever window the advent calendar opens, it will, most surely, surprise us beautifully and unexpectedly.