Last week, I shared a post about my journey with minimalism and I was blown away with the response. Countless conversations unfolded because of how it resonated with so many folk. And so I decided to share more about my minimalism journey. This week I’m sharing why I'm not celebrating Christmas anymore.
Living a minimalistic lifestyle.
With our minimalist lifestyle, we carefully consider purchases when we need them. We have no desire for more 'things' and since we’re consciously child free, the question of why we celebrate Christmas has been a topic of discussion for my husband and I for quite a while.
I love that family and friends gather at this time of the year, but underneath it all I kept coming back to minimalism and the core question every decision comes back to. Are we choosing to do things with awakened intention that adds value or because we are passively ambling along in a society where the mainstream narrative is doing and buying things under the romanticised consumerist justification ‘because it is Christmas’.
We asked ourselves, when you take away christianity and consumerism, what's left?
There have been lots of shifts and ‘but why do we do it like this’ conversations running in parallel to this question too. Each year we've edged away from the chaos around Christmas.
It has been a gradual drift really. Stepping back from what doesn’t feel aligned and making decisions which feel aligned to a conscious compass. For several years, rather than sending cards, we’ve been donating to charity. We adore Seawilding who are planting seagrass and rewilding a loch in Scotland and it feels good to be able to support their work in this way.
Last Christmas some life changing news landed and I was diagnosed with ADHD at the start of December. I was unravelling what this meant. Re-evaluating all I thought I knew about myself and the world around me as we were hurtling towards Christmas. The intense march of needing to conform to doing all ‘the things’, ‘because it’s Christmas’ felt too intense. I wanted to get off the mad ride. That is when a moment of clarity hit. The diagnosis emboldened me to lean into seeing things differently. Minimalism guides me to choose a simple path and this empowered me to make decisions that took away feelings of overwhelm.
And so we made the decision we no longer wanted to receive gifts at Christmas and birthdays and in turn would stop giving them too. Instead we made a donation to a charity and asked family to donate to one that meant something to them in place of gifting. For me, life is about the memories you hold in your heart. The most valuable things are never things but the moments you get to spend with the ones you love. The sense of freedom it has brought has been immeasurable.
The book that changed everything.
I bought a book to read last Christmas, called The Magical Year by Danu Forest. The tagline intrigued me, ‘seasonal celebrations to honour nature’s ever-turning wheel’. I have always known I have a deep affinity with nature, I believe we are nature. I spend hours at night marvelling at the wonder of the universe. Light leads my work. I connect so deeply with it. Where it will rise and set and how the quality of light paints differently in each season. The honouring of nature’s cycles, the ebb and flow of the tides, the cycle of the moon, the solar cycles that bring us aurora at night.
I’ve spent my life in awe of nature. I couldn’t put the book down. All that was innate to me was being laid out in this book, in words that described how I’ve always felt. It was like a homecoming learning about the Celtic Wheel, the festivals that soulfully honour light and the change of each season and how to live life as part of nature.
And as I turned these pages, a monumental shift was happening and I realised I’d always been Pagan.
It has truly been a magical year, just as the book was titled!
I’ve learned so much about myself as an ADHD woman and as a Pagan. I feel it was divine timing that I discovered both things at the same time, because the journey with each has been so beautifully interconnected. When I look back at my life, my Paganism has always been there in plain view, just like my ADHD. I’ve always felt like I have my head in the stars, bare feet on the ground and that universal energy flows through us all and this energy is the frequency which I live by.
And so I arrived at this midwinter with Paganism as my North Star. Empowering me to tread a path that is so aligned to every fibre of my being. Which has made it an easy decision that we won’t be celebrating Christmas anymore.
Instead, we'll be celebrating the Winter Solstice. I’ve felt so connected to this season and the descent to the darkest depths of winter since Samhain. Slowing down, letting go, going within the darkest depths of myself and taking time to see what these shadows show. Creating space for rest and renewal. It has been a real shedding of layers and I know that I have changed. I am starting to feel my energy wanting to lift from the darkness. After the last few years, an emergence of feeling truly me in the deepest and most connected way I’ve ever known. This midwinter I’ll be celebrating the light gently starting to return both in nature and in myself too.
As I’ve written this, I’ve felt such a sense of magick woven into the words I’ve shared. Because they’re straight from my heart at a moment where I feel my most radically authentic self. It has been a ride to get here. I’ve spent my life searching for this and I am feeling so very blessed to be holding the greatest gift I’ll ever cherish - being able to live with such a sense of freedom and knowing who I truly am. And I share this personal journey openly. To take up space in this world, just the way I am, shining a light that it is possible for others too.
May the return of light lead you forward out of the darkest depths of midwinter.
Solstice blessings to you.
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