Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ceremonies of gratitude and giving

 At Summer Solstice we celebrate with a ritual of gratitude. 'What is gratitude?' asked the little one, who was joining in for the first time.
 She had helped gather pohutukawa blossom for the ritual, and added bunny's tail grasses. They look good together, don't you think? She was also asked, along with her dad, to find symbols of gratitude.
 'Gratitude is when you have something that makes you so happy, you want to say a big thank you.'
 I was giving thanks for good health, abundant love in my life, a flourishing business and so much more. The cherry tomatoes and the flowers said it for me. The little one couldn't quite grasp what a symbol is, but responded by saying what each flower reminded her of. We lit a heart-shaped candle and gave thanks.
 And then today, we had the ceremony of our multi-cultural Christmas lunch, when our family is joined by a Chinese mother and her two children. Sun symbols swung on the Christmas tree, along with tinsel and hand-made decorations from years gone by.
 We ate Christmas fruits: cherries, blueberries, peaches, strawberries, rock melons, pineapple and water melons,
 followed by Chinese dumplings, salads,
 noodles (made fresh by the Chinese mother),
 sea vegetables,
 snow peas with capsicums and seaweed.
The Christmas bird, made by my older granddaughter when she was small, surveyed the scene as we exchanged gifts. She is now 19 and had finished work as a Christmas fairy the day before, so could be with us for our celebration.
A laughing Buddha now sits in the family's garden, Winnie the Pooh is hanging under a balloon while bees buzz about his face, and fragrant essential oils sit in a silver box waiting to release their fragrance at the bach.
Which is where I'm going now. But I couldn't resist taking advantage of broadband and putting up this post first. Because Ceremonies of gratitude and giving are the very heart of Solstice and Christmas.
Blessings and gratitude to you all for being part of my blogging circle; I am so glad to know you.


Hotly Spiced said...

Merry Christmas to you, Juliet and all your family. I love how your granddaughter was working as a Christmas fairy! I love the bird on the tree. And those dumplings look very good. And I don't think I've ever seen bunny grass - it's very cute xx

Juliet said...

Hi Charlie, thanks for your Christmas wishes. I thought you might like that bit about my granddaughter. She reminds me of your Arabella, both blond, beautiful and having fun. Children love the bunny grass; it's so soft to touch.

cecilia buyswheeler gunther said...

and we are so glad and grateful to be able to visit you and your beautiful beach whenever we like, you are mmy little piece of calm.. many many thanks.. c

Anonymous said...

A lovely celebration of all that is good and wonderful in our lives. We had a simple gathering this year, with family the main focus and gratitude that we were able to be together again after so many years.

Juliet said...

* Celi, it's a pleasure to have you visit. I have the bach to myself again now and am soaking up the peace and quiet.

* silkannthreades, how lovely that you could have your family all together.

Thank you Celi and silkannthreades. Good to see you.

Juliet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Friko said...

Your posts are sheer delight;( I persevere although it is hard to get past Google+)

gratitude is not something that springs to mind easily when it comes to Christmas, there’s too much greed involved for many.

My best wishes for a happy new year.

Juliet said...

Friko, thank you for your kind comment. I'm sorry it's hard to get into my blog; I haven't heard that before. Maybe there's a more direct route?
Yes, greed is out there, so all the more important to hold a space for gratitude and other positive qualities. Happy new year to you too.

Penny O'Neill said...

Gratitude has hung happily and heavily forth this Christmas, Juliet, as has my gratitude for knowing you, considering you a part of my circle, albeit distant, of friends. I truly admire the way you celebrate and honor the seasons and the cultures that surround you.

Best of wishes for the new year. Penny

Vicki Lane said...

I love your ceremonies and your feast! And I realize that I must make some sun ornaments for my tree!

All best wishes for a joyful 2014!

Juliet said...

* Penny, I'm honoured to be part of your circle. How wonderful that gratitude has been with you this Christmas too.

* Vicki, sun ornaments are a great way to bring our summer solstice and Christmas together. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Thank you Penny and Vicki for your comments and good wishes.