Sunday, 27 November 2011

Pausing for thought

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? Yes, it is the seasonal light show flashing on and off in a street near you. The countdown has truly begun, the days roll on apace, and time snaps at the heels of the unwary laggard.

What is that approaching over the horizon?
It is the first Sunday in Advent and Floss is encouraging us all to take a pause and ponder as we wait expectantly for Christmas.

Free decorations
I am well aware that my readers come from all around the world, and that many of you may not celebrate Christmas, through choice or custom. There are many paths to enlightenment and who am I to presume upon the efficacy of one over another? But the reality in this country is that Christmas has become more of a consumer festival than a religious one, with all the attendant stresses and strains associated with an impending deadline, impossible expectations and not inconsiderable financial outlay.


So while some wait in eager anticipation for the long wished for day, others watch its advent with a sense of impending dread. The last payday in November has arrived, and with it comes the shopping for presents and the draining of the bank account.

So perhaps it is time to think about what we can give for free. Given confidence by a lovely little present I received from dear Ang who spends her time Tracing Rainbows, I have in my pocket some pearls for my readers.


I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of a couple of gifts of wisdom over the course of my life, and in the spirit of giving I will hand them on to you.


The first is that a smile costs nothing at all, so of smiles you can give many, and such is human nature that you will receive an abundance in return.


And the second is that 'sorry' and 'thank you' are two of the most important words in the world - sometimes it seems that they cost a little more dear, but remember that your purse will remain unscathed.


And my further thought is: forget about the tit for tat, and the matching of gifts, which means that the wealthy receive most, and the poorest the least (and that goes for the poor in spirit, too). Give only what you can truly afford, but give it without thought of return, and with a generosity of spirit which can make small things precious.


And the most precious things of all are kindness and love: I know that love can be a bit of a tall order at this season of surfeit, especially when the surfeit is of relatives, but kindness is easy - just try it. It is quite possible to be kind to someone you don't like or don't know, and it will certainly make you feel better, and might even make them feel better too.



And then we come to that old saw - give and you will receive. The oldest ones are the best ones - give a teeny tiny bit of kindness, give a teeny tiny bit of joy, such a small amount that truly you will hardly know it is gone, and my oh my, you will be quite overwhelmed with the return, which will come scudding back to you some time, somehow, and in a way you cannot anticipate, but such are the mysterious ways of the universe that one day as you scan the horizon you will see a ship coming in carrying an enormous gift back for you.



And if you still feel stressed about Christmas, then try reading this. It certainly helped me to put things in perspective . . .

30 comments:

Serenata said...

Very well written and thoughtful post Pomona.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

very, very wise words. :)
Vivienne x

Madelief said...

Hi Pomona,

Thank you for your wise words! Wish you a Happy Advent Sunday!

Lieve groet, Madelief x

susan said...

Lovely well written words as usual. Christmas is not stressful if you embrace the good stuff, let go of the bad, and get help in the kitchen on the day.

Katy Cameron said...

ROFL, love that badge, and you've lived up to it very well with this post! I have to admit I've always been the nut that prefers the giving to the receiving of the pressies. Even as a child I never, ever went looking for things or even wrote a letter to Santa (sheesh, that makes my parents sound awful, and honestly, I think my mum would actually have preferred a list!)

Annie said...

Seasonal wisdom indeed, and that's every season.

Hope you've had a lovely advent Sunday x

Amy said...

I completely agree. It's a good reminder.

Nicky said...

Sagacious Pomona indeed and well timed reminder!

Helen Philipps said...

Thank you for sharing such wise words, Pomona. So well written and thoughtful. I hope you had a Happy Advent Sunday and wish you a happy week ahead.
Helen x

Mrs. Micawber said...

Pomona, your timing is exceptional. I had just logged in to Blogger to write a post about feeling the Christmas stress, when (ever distractable) I saw your post hovering at the top of the Reading List, and read it instead. Thank you. I will now write an entirely different post and do my best to put the stress on the back burner.

Smiles and hugs to you from a grateful blogging friend.

Claire said...

Hey Pomona, a timely and well written post.
Lots of little gems to mull over ..........

Regarding the consumer festival Christmas has become, we can all opt out of it if we choose.........

When we look around at what we have, own and cupboards full to overflowing with 'stuff' that may or may not have seen the light of day for some time......
Maybe it's time to say enough is enough and I really don't need anything more than time spent with the people I care about.
No more fighting your way through shoppers and worrying about what to buy and how much can I spend.
It's a bold move but a very liberating one.........

Claire :}

Carolyn Phillips said...

Very thoughtful, thank you.

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

For me it's all about getting together with my family for chatting, laughter and memory making.

magsmcc said...

Season's greetings from a visiting strawberry! Love this Pause post, and am intrigued by the book. You are so right. About everything!

driftwood said...

wise words indeed, thank you x

Pom Pom said...

Hi Pomona!
It's the perfect time to begin pausing, isn't it? I have the most dreadful cold today, so pause I must!
Have a peaceful week!

Linda Tunnell said...

thank you for the reminder as I sit here a little peeved at my other half....kindness begins at home.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Pomona,

So much great advice you have shared with us., thank you
Happy Advent Sunday and wishing you a lovely week.

Hugs
Carolyn

Kay G. said...

Here is a quote that I like...Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
Lovely post you have written here, I wish you a peaceful advent season. :-)

Lorrie said...

Lovely suggestions for this time of year when commercialism does its best to take over the hearts and sensibilities of everyone.

Ginnie said...

You are so so right, Pomona! Thank you for this perspective.

**Anne** said...

This is a beautiful post.
Anne xx

Jak said...

Very fine words indeed! I'm certainly going to re-appraise Christmas this year.

Sorry to learn that you are poorly, but it is just as a thought, excessive cleaning is bad for one's health!
Jak x

Angela said...

Wise words [didn't I say you were erudite!!] Thanks for this love Advent-Pause-Post

blessings x

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for this post! Very wise!

Karen L R said...

yes, yes, yes!

xo

Floss said...

Finally - I have time to comment on your excellent post! Thanks your well-worded thoughts - I was really intrigued that I had an adult French trainee today whose exercise was to summarise her 'secret of success'. She told me her advice was to: 'Always smile and try to help other people', which fits in charmingly with your post. I wonder if she'd like to read it? Happy Advent, Pomona.

Mommy en France said...

Wishing you a happy and sustaining Advent, free of crowds, commercialism and crankiness. And I love your holly picture - is that in your garden? Lucky you!

Fat Dormouse said...

Oh Pomona, this is a beautiful post! It quite makes me "have something in my eye"! There are many good things to ponder on and to consider. I will try to remember to come back when I am less pressed for time and to read it again. But thank you for your wisdom.

Barbara said...

Absolutely. Amongst all the hype and glitter and unreal expectations there are those dreading Christmas. Those who have lost loved ones this year through death or divorce, those in financial difficulty, failing health and loneliness. It's a time to be sensitive.

Must have missed knowing about your hand. Do hope it is not serious and is improving.

Lettuce still growing is quite something.

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