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  • David OMalley

Flow into play and make your Christmas holy

I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, ... Then I was by his side as a delighted young child playing always before Him

Proverbs 8.30



Don't let work fill all the holiday gaps

Play is sacred and essential at all ages. It is the place where we waste time, explore and forget the past and the future. That is why it revives the soul, brings perspective and tops up humour. Play with others, whether in sport or in hobbies, puts everyone on the same level as human beings. It is a holy thing to do.





One of the results of good play is to enter a state of "flow" when time seems to stand still and a person loses self-consciousness. Athletes call this "being in the zone" and it is the place where learning is happening at its most intense rate. It is close to the mode of being which is experienced by mystics who experience a oneness with all of creation. That is perhaps why Don Bosco used the playground for a brief prayer at the end of the day rather than go into the chapel. For him both were equally holy spaces.


The Salesian approach means blending aspects of home, school, playground and church (meaning) into every part of life. In that way the play element can become a source of holiness for you over Christmas.


  • Just being with family, taking walks, and playing games together all build up a reassurance of belonging (home).

  • The games create a space where the world turns without us and we learn (school) that we are more than what we do.

  • Finally play puts us into the present moment, into the flow of time where we come face to face with God’s presence in the now (Church)

So, as Christmas unfolds find some time to play with friends and family. Look for things to do which take you into a flow of awareness where time stands still. Avoid filling gaps with too much activity and allow some empty space to arouse creativity and reflection.


Take time to reflect

A prayer

Lord, during this Christmas break

Remind me that you are funny.

After all you invented giraffes

And make children say the most outrageous things

At the worst possible time.

You invite us to trust you

To use holidays to switch off

And leave the world to turn under your care.

Help me to have fun

Avoid worry and allow you

to embrace this Christmas space

within me with your loving kindness AMEN


HAVE A HAPPY AND HOLY CHRISTMAS

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