A very merry Christmas from New Zealand where we've now been for 10 days. It feels like so much longer - we've done so much, seen so much and it's a whole new amazing world I'm experiencing here. Most importantly: the world where my better half grew up. And what beautiful idyllic conditions. His family's home in the New Zealand beach town Mount Maunganui has blown my expectations, I LOVE IT. The nature, the weather, the neighborhoods, the coffee and of course Leon's lovely Swedish/American/Kiwi family.
A Colorful Kiwi Christmas
I admit that it's not easy for me to be away from my family and from Denmark during Christmas. It's not only the Christmas 24th celebration, it's the entire preparation phase and all the Christmas "Hygge". I don't know of any other country with as many small and big Christmas traditions as Denmark or maybe it's just my crazy family =) And as much as I'm not really into traditions, Christmas is so magical.
This year I'm having a very different but just as magical Kiwi Christmas with Danish & Swedish input as Leon's mom is Swedish. Indeed a warmer and brighter Christmas than what I'm use to. And a very colorful mix of traditions: Yesterday on the 24th of December we were having a Danish/Swedish dinner with herring & snaps followed by the Scandinavian'ish warm rice porridge with cinnamon. And we started today with a New Zealand Champagne brunch on the deck in the sun #notcomplaining.
Happy Holidays: Give Presence This Year And Find "Happy" in Most Days The Buddhist Way
I do miss my family and our big Christmas gatherings but Skype is invented these days and how fun it was to Skype with my entire family in Denmark as they were opening presents on the 24th evening and we were getting started with champagne on the 25th morning (New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of Denmark).
Most importantly I find, we should focus on as well as appreciate The Now: The people we're with and our current reality, right here and right now. Our minds often seem to long for something which is not in the Now: either something from the past, the future or a physical different location from our current reality. By focusing our attention on our "Now", we can really become better at appreciating, finding more peace of mind and more happiness. It's the essence of Buddhist teachings and without getting too caught up in religious practice read some quotes from the Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh this Christmas and just give it some thoughts. It makes so much sense. And makes me so calm and happy =)