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Why is Advent so beautiful?

It feels like we’ve just woke up from the Summer heat, the days are just drifting by so quickly, and here we are in December. After the unseasonably warm weather of the past weeks the first snowfall reminded me that it’s winter already. Living in the Buda Hills I was happy as a child to see the first snow in the morning.

These moments bring me back with nostalgia to my childhood when I was so excited to get my sled and out in the snow. We live close to Normafa, so these spontaneous adventures are always a great idea, but recently I happened to notice, that by the time we are about to set off, the snow has already melted.

Well, that is what snow is like, so it’s better to act upon the spur of the moment.

I will never forget when, after my second child was born, we set off on an evening adventure. It was around this time of the year. We didn’t have a proper sled, just this flat plastic thing I call an apple, that you can sit on and slide down the snowy hills. So with this I set off from the top of Normafa, when suddenly the “apple” started to go off and I was sliding down the hill quite helplessly.

I had no chance to take over control, so I just stared at the stars and hoped fiercely that it will not be a tree trunk that shall put an end to it.

Finally I missed the trunk by about five inches – but almost got a heart attack.

It felt amazing to be finally safe and sound in the silent woods. There were scarcely any people fooling around in the night, so I just smiled to myself and looked up at the sky, thankful, that although my conduct was far from suitable to a new mom, it ended well.

I was waiting for my partner to follow me down the hills, but seeing my adventure, they decided to walk instead. Since then I decided to stick to the good old sled. Though I think I could better my control skills there – but hey, that is a man’s job.

I’m rather shy, but I like these crazy adventures when adrenaline hits you and you feel alive. It was so much fun, but as a mother of two, I’m not sure I’d try anything like this again.

Maybe it is responsibility that makes you more reserved and cautious as a parent that I also experience at other fields of my life.

Nevertheless, let me slide back (pun intended) to the festive time of the year I started on writing about. This is also a time for taking stock and accounting for the past year, to learn from it and draw our conclusions in order to start a more successful and better new year.

This facing up is now always easy, and our unfinished, unsettled affairs may cause a lot of stress, not to mention the Christmas craze…

The whole thing is just so typical of the end of the year, when everyone is a little crazy, a little frustrated to finish their to-do’s, and the festive preparations and the must-have encounters with the family only add to the mood.

It was surprising to see Christmas decor in some stores as early as the middle of October. This, in my opinion, too early date makes the festive season lose some of its charm, because by the time Christmas really arrives, you get used to the otherwise attractive decorations.

Sure, business is business, but still…

But to get to the good part of the festive season, because that was the whole point I started this entry; I have always loved this magical time of the year.

When old-forgotten stories and tales come alive, and a piece of our lost childhood is found again. When we bake gingerbread with our children, and try to hide the gifts so that the little ones won’t find them by any chance. When the smell of cookies, chestnut and mulled wine linger, the candles are lit and the guests might arrive any minute now. When Daddy finishes the fish soup while we add the finishing touches to the gift wrapping. These moments mean the cosy feeling of togetherness at Christmas.

But mostly, this is the time to slow down and stop for a minute, when we step out of the wheel and let ourselves enjoy the silence and each other’s company. This time of the year maybe we pay more attention, we are kinder, we have time to talk, time to play, time to laugh together…

I remember when everyone went quite, how I stared at the beautifully lit Christmas tree. It took me to another dimension, where I found peace, dreams, compassion and love.

I always promise myself that I’ll try to project this feeling to the other, maybe less wonderful, days of the year.

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” /Calvin Coolidge/

This is what I wish to all of us, from the bottom of my heart.

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