Women’s Christmas; this was the event we celebrated at our recent TedxCircle; I first heard of this celebration as a schoolgirl – an event where women relaxed after all the hard work of the Christmas celebrations by gathering together to eat cake! I instantly liked the notion; Epiphany was marked at home in those days in our house with the arduous task of putting the Christmas decorations back in the attic. I much preferred this notion of ending the 12 days of the holidays with a party. Over the years I have gathered together my women friends to mark the occasion over goodies and a warm drink. This year with Covid restrictions in place, a virtual event seemed the thing; in terms of a theme, Ingrid Fetell Lee’s talk, “Joy and Where to Find It”, one of my favourite TED talks seemed appropriate as a starting point at a time where Joy has been elusive for many. I had intended to make it public but the idea of the Tedx Circle is a small-group conversation with an optimum of around 15 guests. My guest list filled up so fast that there was no room for a public call out this time. Maybe next year we can run a few at a time! Or a sequence! Who does not love a party!

Now what has this to do with trees and climate change? Wellness of course; the reason we are planting the trees with my project and all the similar ones is to improve the health and happiness of all who live on the planet. So it seemed like a good idea to live some of that happiness and to discuss how best to experience more for the fun!

A Word for 2021 was the challenge posed by one of our company, inspired by a podcast by Tonya Lee. This year this Women’s Christmas became an International gathering – what joy indeed; being online meant we could widen the net!

Here are the words we came up with, many of them with joy in the theme! Sometimes it was more than one word, it is simply a question to get you thinking!

Niamh circulated a list of Arts Events for January, deeming the Arts a central starting point for a dose of Joy.

Here were the Words of 2021 we listed– instead of resolutions – ; Joyful, Joy, Easy, Hopeful, (Dóchas in Irish), Kind, Toleration, Freedom to hear/listen, Free, Freedom (from stress, worry, strings, obstacles) / from Covid – With immunity comes Freedom to help, to sit and talk to people, to go to funerals –) Compassionate, Compassion, Wisdom, Humanitarian, Sensual, Community, Hugge (Margaret made it up; like Hygge but meaning lots of hugs and company), Hearthy (also made up, derives from the word hearth, thank you Ev), yummy, playful, Ginandtonicky, (another new one, thank you Aileen) Delivering, delivery… (“in the context of being in the last quarter of their lives they say…making sure I get the things I want to do done…”) – this from a man. Women’s Christmas can be about your feminine side!

As the month wore on, I asked a few more friends who had not been present to come up with a word.

From Karen; Resigned. Mind you her first one was “Armageddon” but I explained it is ideally an adjective. From Canqi; “Embrace Uncertainty; Love the life you live, Live the life you love”. And from Rosemary; Kind again, to include being Kind to Yourself! Thanks to all who contributed to our discussion. To be continued!

Have you a word for our list?