I love Christmas and I make no secret of it! Preparations started a few weeks ago here with a wreath on the front door on December 1, and now we have a lovely tree covered in decorations, twinkly lights everywhere and a pantry that is starting to groan at the seams already.
We have taken delivery of the traditional homemade Christmas cake from from my mum and cards are being written every day as I work my way through a long list.
My office has turned into Christmas HQ and is a sea of gifts, wrapping paper and bags and boxes, and I have swapped my usual earrings for sparkly ones-yes the festive season is here. The Christmas playlist is on and the Christmas Day menu is planned.
WE ARE SO LUCKY
We really are so fortunate. I know we will have a lovely Christmas because we always do. I make sure of it because one Christmas 20 years ago my whole world fell apart when my husband left me. He actually moved out in January but it was over by Christmas. So I know just what it is like to have a really sad, difficult Christmas and I know I am not alone.
There is a reason why divorce rates spike in January. Christmas is not happy for everyone.
Christmas is a difficult time for many people and for many reasons. I would urge you to remember this as you finish off your last bit of shopping this week-when you are annoyed because you are stuck in a queue, or feel the person at the checkout could be a bit cheerier, or when the person in the street bumps into you accidentally, or when not everyone is feeling as festive as you.
We all have a story
There is a narrative behind all of our actions-behaviour is about communication. So when people perhaps don’t embrace the celebrations as much as you do, resist the temptation to mock and mutter ‘bah humbug’ or ‘scrooge’ under your breath as you select your tinsel and fight over the last turkey. Instead-just pause and remember what this time of year is really all about-for me it’s about family and I am lucky to have the biggest most love-filled family I could wish for, but I know that not everyone does.
Christmas is not a time of joy for everyone-it can be a desperately isolating, sad and difficult time for many. I would urge everyone to take time this Christmas and really think about what Christmas means and how we can all do something-no matter how small-to help other people have a better time over the holidays.
Something as simple as writing a card and dropping it round to a neighbour with the offer of a mince pie and a cup of coffee could make a massive difference to them. I know the Christmas card writing thing is controversial but receiving a handwritten letter or card at this time of year is especially lovely and has a tremendous impact on our wellbeing-it makes us feel better writing and sending it and the recipient feels remembered and considered when it drops through the letter box-it really is a win win.
One thing that so many of us seem to lack is time-but actually we DO have time to spend with other people if we take a moment to pause and look at our diaries. This is a great time to take stock, look at where we are and carve out a small amount of time to do something that will enrich our lives as well as someone else’s. A chat with someone who is feeling low could be all it takes to help them feel a bit better. It’s never going to be time wasted.
- I have three Christmas wishes and would love it if you could support this idea…
- Write cards or letters-Christmas cards, thank you cards or just a ‘hello how are you’ letter. I promise you it is a lovely thing to do at a time when you are probably feeling frazzled and stressed.
- Start a ten minute a day journalling routine with a gratitude practice. This will really help you appreciate all you have and keep you grounded, calm and clear over Christmas.
- Call on a neighbour who may be feeling lonely, or stop and chat to someone who you haven’t caught up with for a while.
And one little extra request …..I am donating to The Salvation Army, Crisis and Shelter this Christmas and for every copy of my book that is sold during December and January, I will make a donation towards these fantastic charities who feed, clothe and care for our most vulnerable people. Just click this link to order it.