It can’t be Christmas already? The older I get, the quicker it seems to come around each year. This year it seems even earlier after just spending a fortnight at Disneyworld, where Christmas celebrations started just as we arrived, at the beginning of November. I have now heard every variation of Christmas carol and song performed in a Disney format.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Grinch, I love Christmas. I was singing along with every Disney Christmas song and dancing around the Christmas trees. The build-up to Christmas gives us something to look forward to through the bleak winter months of November and December where it doesn’t even seem to get light some days. I love the music, the trashy TV, the copious amounts of calorific food and drink.
The thing is, the anticipation of the event always seems to be more rewarding than Christmas itself. I love the build-up, the decorating, making lists, talking about plans with friends, Christmas Eve in the pub, planning menus, even the shopping can be fun. But when the big day comes, it often seems like an anti-climax.
I’ve been thinking about why this is, in relation to what I know about Mindfulness. I know that mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we pay attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally, to the present moment. When I consider this definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn, it seems obvious. I spend all my time pre-Christmas looking forward to the day itself, instead of mindfully enjoying the build-up, which is the part I really enjoy and is happening now, in the present!
So this year, instead of pinning all my hopes on one day, I’m going to take the time to be mindful in the run-up and enjoy each moment as it arises.
Jo is a director of Mindful Future and an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher. Breathworks is one of the leading Mindfulness organisations in the UK