I’ve just finished reading two lots of Sunday papers, all telling me how to have the perfect Christmas. Plus the TV ads, and programmes, like Kirsty’s Handmade Chrismas on C4, which had me spellbound, stirring up feelings of guilt that I hadn’t had time to make my own wrapping paper ….
My wonderful friend Lee, out in Sheffield, sent me some amazing photos of his surrounding countryside, on his doorstep. My first thought was to head for the solitude of those beautiful hills. But, I have responsibilities this Christmas, which I am looking forward to if, I manage everything, with the intention of being a better listener.
Some of us will be thrown together with family, close and extended; we have 13 coming for Christmas Day, and three rellies sleeping over.
Above the noise and excitment of the pending day, the one thing that I’m really going to try and practice is to be a listener., first and foremost. No doubt I’ll falter at the first hurdle, because I need my sisters and others to listen to me first.
It’s ocurred to me that the Christmas story is one where there’s plenty of listening going on: Mary and the angel Gabriel, Shepherds and Wisemen with angelic visitations, and the inn-keeper who listens to the plight of Mary and Joseph’s situation.
Amidst the scrapping, peeling, basting, steaming, and dishing out – I will choose to be an emotionally engaged listener, and hear what is being said to me in those easily lost moments of feverish seasonal over-drive – instead of disregarding the yuletide banter, sibyling instructions on the cooking and service; I’ll make a concerted effort to cherish the act of simply listening.
Hoping to share more about a community listening project – ‘simply-listening’, in 2018.
Wishing you all a jofulful, peacful, and restful Christmas and new year.