Last night some of my choir, St George's Singers, went carol singing at the hunting lodge of Adlington Hall, a Medieval and Tudor stately home about five miles away from our house. We do this every year, singing for guests in the dining hall. We sing "The Twelve Days Of Christmas", "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and other well-known carols, and the diners sing along. The choir gets a fee from the hall, and we take a collection for charity at the end. The hall also provides drinks and mince pies for us after we've sung.
It's become a traditional part of Christmas, and I'd feel sorry if I ever had to miss it.
What does this have to do with self-sufficiency? Part of my philosophy on life is to relish the simple things that give me pleasure. Something like singing beautiful music with friends in a gorgeous setting, and then eating mince pies and talking and laughing afterwards, can give me a feeling of fulfilment and well-being that can last for days. I love Christmas, and these are the things I love about it, the things I've been posting about for a week now. Not spending lots of money. Not receiving expensive gifts. Not haring round the shops or sitting in traffic and becoming very stressed. But spending time with friends and family, making things, sharing food, music and appreciating the many blessings I have been given. That is part of self-sufficiency, not only in food, energy or water, but self-sufficiency in happiness and satisfaction.