‘Travelling Light’ in the run up to Christmas
Christmas can be a really stressful time. Many of us would like to get to Christmas feeling full of energy and a great sense of fulfilment, but instead we arrive absolutely frazzled, and it loses all meaning for us.
This Advent and Christmas, our friends at Discovering Prayer are running a programme called ‘Travelling Light’.
It’s a series of guided Christian prayer and meditations, to help you stay calm and focused in the run up to Christmas. If you’d like to enrol, you will receive three audio prayer times and a wealth of other information about ‘Travelling Light’ towards Christmas. You will also be travelling alongside a community of like-minded people who are desiring greater meaning.
The audio prayer times take their inspiration from the Magi, the wise people who travelled from the east. As they followed the star, they didn’t know really where that star was going to lead them, or indeed, really what was going to be at the end of it. Most of the time we journey through Christmas not really knowing what it’s about.
This year, let’s do things differently. Let’s travel a bit lighter towards Christmas, and let go of the things that don’t matter to make room for the things that do matter.
It is worth looking at the 25 tips that Discovering Prayer has gathered. There is something for everyone under five themes: uncovering the hidden meaning as you plan Christmas; sending mindful Christmas cards; giving presents and your presence; lightening the load; and sharing the joy.
Here are three examples:
Taking time out to pray and spending time with God is a perfect antidote to the rush and consumerism of a modern Christmas. Prayer puts relationship first and gives you perspective. Taking just five minutes at a time can really help you return to yourself during the day. Taking just five minutes in the morning to be thankful and take part in a short meditation can really set you up for a good start to the day. If you don’t know how to meditate or pray you can start by listening to one of Discovering Prayer’s free audio prayer times.
Giving less could mean giving more. Instead of giving so many presents, why not give your presence this Christmas? Spend your time and not your money, and focus on connecting rather than buying. Look for opportunities to do things with other people that create the Christmas feel, such as carol singing on the green, watching a nativity play, or having a home cinema night watching a classic Christmas movie.
Simplify Simplify Simplify. Christmas isn’t in charge of you. You’re in charge of Christmas. You don’t have to do what the adverts tell you, or follow what everyone else is doing. Have yourself a merry little Christmas by doing and eating the things you enjoy. If curry is your favourite thing, have curry for Christmas lunch. If you enjoy bird watching, make the most of that hour of sunshine. Let each person in your house choose one thing to add to the mix. Or simply do nothing at all.
Whatever you do or don’t do, anyone can find out more about ‘Travelling Light’ and join the Discovering Prayer community at discoveringprayer.com/advent-welcome.
We wish you a fulfilling and joyful run-up to Christmas!