Sunday Sage: When Festive Fantasy Meets Reality

9.10am – Stagger into Tramezzini, balancing a pile of parcels in the crook of my right arm.

With my left hand, I twist and manoeuvre possibly the-most-awkward-pushchair-ever-invented.

Reid doesn’t like being in his pushchair.

Especially when in Daddy’s deli where there are potato mashers to throw and high grade chocolate drops to sample.

Reid instantly begins the Scream-Twist-Screech-Kick-Pushchair-Sequence.

Acutely aware that I am a Peace Wreaker, I unbuckle the eel impersonator, whip him out, balance him on my left hip, balance parcels on a table and attempt to manoeuvre push-chair into a parked position between two tables.

Knock the left table and slop customer’s Americano all over his crossword.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, sorry, sorry,” I mumble, with the manic panic of a woman on the brink who is pretending not to be straightjacketing an eel-child to her side with Schwarzenegger strength.

“It’s okay, its fine, its okay,” customer chuckles.

Still hyper-ventilating from general humiliation and stress , I scoop up parcels and bolt for the door.

That was the Deli.

Next came Post Office Purgatory.

We won’t go there to that place on a Sunday.

It would be wrong.

However, the cherry on the cake on that throat chokingly stressful morning, was Haberdashery Hell.

Here the shelves are too close, buttons and fabric and felting kits and wool are tighter than sardines in a can, and everything in reach of Reid’s sticky little fingers can be pulled out and trailed across the extremely meagre floor space.

Say “NO!” and he reverts to the Kick-Scream-Shriek sequence …

Or simply grabs another handful of buttons and sprinkles them like defiant confetti .

Why did I insist on experiencing  Haberdashery Hell on an already traumatic morning?

Because I’m a sucker for Festive Fantasies.

Because my Inner Artist had a vision of getting lots of coloured felt and making Christmas tree decorations in a slot of time that exists solely in my imagination.

Because somewhere around September I get all loved up on Christmas Ideas and then November arrives and I’ve done no Christmas shopping, ten years worth of socials are piled into one week and my children are given licence to pepper me with lists of Gifty Wants that are always topped with something stressful like … “A Pug”


Get your backside here, September. We need words.

Whether you have a 20 month old pinned to your hip or are simply facing the onslaught of the Festive Aberdeen Angus herd (running at you very quickly with Rudolf noses glowing and fake antlers strapped to their dreadlocked heads), the build up to Christmas can be mildly stressful.

For many of us, the Inner Artist takes Christmas as a green light to go berserk with every idea under the sun and seduces us with fantasies of snow white table linen and cosy crackling fires and the perfect presents for every last beloved of your life. Your Inner Pro rubs her hands and gets out the pad. She writes lists for food shopping, lists for Christmas cards and lists of list that can be written and could be helpful.

And you Inner Sage?

She barely gets a look in. Which is unfortunate … because it is in the Sage moments – the spaces of Zen – that we are able to actually ENJOY and embody the otherworldly magic of Christmas.

Here are some little ways that we can all nurture our Sage-i-ness over the next few weeks.

Yes, the weather outside is frightful,

And I get that the fire is so delightful ….

BUT being in nature removes you from the glitz, the glitter and the consumerism of Christmas.

Surrounded by Christmas ads, jingles, pressures and demands, our Inner Sage will become wired unless we make time to remind ourselves of our deeper connection with the interconnected natural world.

Make time to get outside and walk. Feel the elements. The endorphins will make you feel amazingly refreshed and energised.

Despite being someone who deeply loves Yuletide, I also feel that the Festive season can easily turn into a guilt fest. The pressure to buy more, consume more, do more and  get more, is pushed by a deep, media driven terror of “have I got enough for everyone? Am I going to make everyone happy? ”

This year, when you catch yourself buying more, try to pause and ask yourself … “am I honouring Enoughness? Do I really need to buy this extra thing?”

By embracing a simple approach to Christmas, the experience can become refined, elegant and gently pleasurable.

During the jam packed days, take moments to stop and appreciate the good things that you have NOW.

Find gratitude for the small (and big) elements you’ve been blessed with; the cup of tea that you have first thing in the morning when the sky is still dark and the day is young; sinking into a hot bath; the home that shelters you and offers refuge when you unlock the front door each day.

There is so much in our lives to feel gratitude for and the more you practice giving some thanks for what you already have, the richer your life will feel.

I think that for many people, part of the extravagance of Christmas is an attempt to recreate the magic that we felt as children. The more we can do – the more pantos and parties and sequin dresses, the more garlands and sparkle and gifts we encrust our lives with – the more we think that the magic of Christmas will come.

I have not found this.

I’ve found that if it is that deep, rich, soul-soaring feeling of Christmas you are after … savour the simplicity. Be like a child.

Following my three hellish experiences in the deli, the post office and the haberdashery the other morning, Reid and I walked hand in hand back to the car (to walk and be a Big Boy is all he had really wanted all along). At the hardware store we stopped because, to his delight, he’d seen some snow men statues. He pressed his finger against the glass. I knelt down on one knee to join his little world. Instead of leaning my forehead against the glass and crying (which is how I felt at that moment) I took a deep breath and connected with Reid’s fresh, simple, snowman delight.

And that’s when I felt it; the sudden whoosh of Christmas … like the sparkle and the sequins are actually part of your little soul and You Are It.

Savour the Simplicity this Christmas.

Love your Sage.

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