With the festive season upon us, we’ve been focusing on staying calm and centred amidst the planning and preparations, both in our homes and our busy office. “I feel I am ready for a gentler, quieter approach, where the decorating and gift giving has more sentiment and less excess,” writes our columnist Caroline Rowland. We too are making the choice to slow down and take a more pared-back approach, embracing the trend for natural decorations, such as our beautiful Christmas wreath, and preparing and enjoying food that’s full of flavour and goodness (find our recipes on page 73).
Two themes that have naturally emerged this month are kindness and forgiveness. At a time when we give gifts to express our love and affection, we are drawn to showing our kind side to strangers, as well as those we hold dear. Inspired by America’s RAKtivists (read more on page 18) my journey to work has become an opportunity to practice little kindnesses; I let queue jumpers in and I offer a smile to those whose eyes I meet. It costs nothing and it makes us both feel good.
Being kind, to ourselves and others, requires forgiveness, too. The festive season offers many opportunities for connection and reflection with our families and loved ones, yet old resentments can easily crash the Christmas party unannounced (page 24). Bringing more forgiveness into our hearts can improve our relationships and bring us inner peace – and that might just be the best gift we can give.