This time of year is a time of staying in and hunkering down. Trust me, I’ve been watching our new friend Caramel the hamster spend hours building her little nest, (and making a mess of the carpet, but we’ll let that go).

It’s not always easy to literally hunker down and get cosy, because, well, life. But I find my mind starts to do it anyway, and I find my thoughts reaching back over the year and all it has brought. About where I am now and who I am becoming. As the golden hues of autumn start to dim and the bright flush of excitement builds in our kids’ eyes , it can only mean one thing…
Oh yes, Christmas is round the corner.

I try every year to be more conscious about present shopping. But in reality that never happens and I end up panic buying all of Amazon until my postbox can take no more deliveries. Recently, though,  I read something that I found useful in my efforts to cut down on buying, spending, rushing and forgetting the meaning of it all. 

Best selling author and activist Glennon Doyle from has written about what’s known as the ‘four-gift rule’. She suggests steering the kids towards asking for something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. 

I love this idea and I agree that it’s time to simplify. Whether you’re a believer or not (in Jesus, not Justin), Christmas is a time for family, friends, food and reflection.

Let it be so for your family. Stop and smell the poinsettia. Forget the mess, the jobs, the bills for a while, if you can. Look at your family and really see them. Not what you want them to be, but who they really are. Breathe your people in. And love.


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