This time of year always seems to bring an increased flurry of energy and busy-ness as we near the holidays.  We become consumed by details and lists, planning for festive meals, buying gifts, reaching out to family and friends, and so much more.  With that, also comes an increase in worry, fear and stress over the “what if” and the “should”.


Despite all of this bustling energy or maybe because of it, this time of year beckons to me to slow down the pace and notice those precious moments of being present and aware. Moments where I discover and uncover the rare gifts all around me.


Each year I vow to do less of the bustling, shopping, doing, and the general “should-ing” on myself and instead, endeavour to appreciate moments.  Moments like time with a treasured friend; time observing an exquisite element in nature; time alone in stillness where I can hear the hum of what is about to unfold; and so many more intangibles.


So this year, I’m choosing to appreciate the intrinsic gifts already present, just in the course of a day.  Gifts like the smile of a stranger as you hold the door open; the surpising gift of a wildlife sighting on my morning walk; the gift of poignant lyrics in a song that burst through the din and touch my heart; the gift of love – love received, love given, love witnessed.


These are the gifts I treasure, not just at Christmas, but everyday, when I simply pause and take those moments to notice, with a grateful heart.


Wishing you and yours the simple pleasures of Christmas.


Carole Wray