All is Calm, All is Bright: Wonder

Wonder. I think Wonder is the emotion that runs through Christmas the most for children. Everything about the season is designed to create wonder, both in a secular and religious sense.

Imagine being a five-year-old and finding out the the magic of Santa… that he gives presents to all the boys and girls around the world, that he has flying reindeer, that he lives in an invisible house in the North Pole (or Lapland, depending on your stories)

Imagine being at school and finding out that, for most schools at least, Christmas is a time when work plays second fiddle to fun,and plays, parties and concerts become the order of the day. In the modern world, anything taking precedence over work in school is a miracle.

Imagine the wonder of the lights, the crowds, the music, the food, the whole sensory explosion that is Christmas.

Imagine becoming a Christian and having a sense of wonder that your God sent his son down to Earth to be a little baby, to start at the lowest step and become a defenceless human being, as a way of showing God’s love for the world.

The Invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common

For some people, all these stories are worthless. They are lies, with no facts behind them. They are of no more value or importance than a fairytale. Santa or Jesus are both imaginary figures, designed to fool gullible people and we shouldn’t have to put up with either.

To those people I say: you are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to spoil the wonder for anyone else.  Besides, sometimes the wonder of these stories lies in the huge tapestry behind them, rather than the at-first-sight appearances of the tale.

With Santa Claus: The wonder is that people recognise a need to care for children across the world. We see the power of wishing in our children’s eyes, and feel the pull of desire. That early wonder becomes part of us and should, in time, grow into a desire to make the impossible possible. Why can’t we feed the world? What stops every child from being warm, fed, loved and cared for? And, most importantly, what can we do about it?

With the hiatus in work that Christmas causes in school, we need to think: perhaps times of pause are necessary for us all, whatever our age. Perhaps we could all do with a break spent together with those we work with: a time of relaxing, a time of humour and release. Or, if we can’t do that at work, we need to build in pauses for ourselves. We need to get away, to find a place to wonder at.

With the story of Jesus, we need to see at root that the birth of Jesus is about the idea that Power lays aside its abilities to serve others. We need to wonder at the attitude that makes service and humility a vital part of control. To a Christian, God could control the world with a single word. That he chooses not to, and gives Christians free will, is amazing. He gives us the power to change the world. To a non-Christian, for whom this is a fairytale, think of the symbolism. Couldn’t we do with more leaders who don’t seek to control the power, but actually seek to empower others? To quote Spiderman’s Uncle Ben “With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility”. Could we lay aside whatever power in the world we have as easily, to help other people? Or are we stuck believing that mankind can’t get past the selfish and self-seeking enough to be a wonderful human being?

I’m a lifelong optimist. My glass is neither half full or half empty, but ready to be filled again. My wonder is never-ending, and my faith in this wonderful, weak, scrappy human race to get together and make a better attempt at life for everyone is never-ending. I think the World needs Wonder more this year than ever before: we need to let ourselves wonder what a better, fairer, freer world would be like. And then we need to work towards that goal.

All is Calm All is Bright 24 words of Christmas Square

I have a massive favour to ask….

I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I  point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.

That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the content of the book, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.

I have three Christmas books,

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.

A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.

Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.

My other books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.

How to Hygge Your Summer, in Paperback and Kindle form, has lots of good ideas for the summer months. I strongly believe that hygge is so much more than throws and warm drinks.

Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.

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