Discussion

The little things, this Christmas.

December 13, 2023

Christmas can be a fabulous time of year for those who choose to celebrate it. Many families enjoy the rituals and celebrations of the day, and even the anticipation! Shopping for gifts, Christmas card writing, buying and decorating the tree, choosing the most succulent looking turkey, preparing a full Christmas dinner (don’t forget the vegetarian options!) all whilst waiting for the perfect guests to arrive… a happy and joyful time, and very like how The Waltons would have felt – if you are old enough to even know who they are! 🙂

But, Christmas can be tough for many. Families may be struggling financially or with each other, cards are a burden, the house cleaning needs to wait, can’t afford a tree or turkey this year, can’t find time or money to buy gifts, fell out with two of the relatives three years ago… or perhaps Christmas is a lonely time for some, and they just want to get past the day.

We know that Christmas can be a time full of pressure and expectations, so it is worth us all recognising this and to do our best to spread at least a little happiness if we can.

To notice a stranger’s face light up because you saw them, you said hello, you smiled at them. To ask a friend how they are doing and mean it. To give a gift to a charity who are collecting for families in hardship, or supporting the homeless community due to the housing crisis.

Christmas can be a time to give back, but also to find joy out of doing something really simple for yourself or for others (and it can be free!) Walking around the city and trying to find somewhere you have never been before, going to the beach, walking a friend’s dog, or simply asking a neighbour if they need anything.

For those who do find Christmas difficult, consider staying away from social media during this period. Find a good book. Bring out the board games. Make a card at home for your partner, kids, or friends. Or simply tell the special people in your life how much you love them.

As we get older (and I am in that group) few will remember the gifts they received, but most will remember how they felt. And we hope it can be a time when laughter was shared and people were calm, relaxed, happy, loving – despite life’s challenges. And few can escape those.

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