As a child I loved Christmas, I loved the tree, the decorating, the food, the family being together and, naturally, the presents. I am sure nearly all children feel the same. This time of year has a magical quality that especially weaves it’s spell over children, even beyond the gifts that have become an integral part of the festivities.
As I grew older, through my teens, my love of Christmas faded, indeed I got to a point where I would escape Christmas as much as possible. I wanted to be away, out of the country, preferably somewhere sunny. This lasted into my twenties, and then there was the period that I was forced to be involved in my then extended family’s events at the time. I was not a happy man, Christmas became a chore and a season to dread.
I have rediscovered my love of Christmas over the course of the last few years. I don’t have children, which is generally the way that most adults rediscover the joy of the season, but I think two things happened; a rediscovery of the love in my heart for family and the fact that it was a really a time to be selfless and selfish at the same time.
Meeting Mrs #1PG and sharing Christmas with her started me down the route of falling in love with Christmas as a family occasion. Then, the year after we met and had shared our first Christmas, my Grandmother passed away just before the next Christmas. This lady had been the rock of my early years and had given me the joy of Christmas to begin with. Her light had passed, but I wished to show her the joy continued. That year was subdued, but it brought our relatively small family together.
Family, whatever you consider it to be, is the foundation of Christmas. Your family maybe your blood or not, it maybe your friends, it may be your pets. Whatever brings you together and with joy. So, at this time of the year, spare a thought for those who do not have that joy in their lives. Indeed, why not bring some of that joy into their lives? Spend time with people who may not have others this Christmas; the old, the sick, the homeless, give them what you can in time and love. It is not about money, though that may help, it is about compassion.
The period is about taking time for ourselves. We live in an increasingly busy world that seems to never stop, and Christmas is one of those times when we can just press the pause button. The world slows down. We can take time for ourselves and make time to do things that we enjoy. Make time for these things over this festive season, we all need a little bit of self indulgence and joy.
Although it is a time for that little bit of selfishness, it is also a time for selflessness. Give time this Christmas not only to those who might not have the embrace of loved ones, but also to those within your embrace.
Take time this festive period to think about the feelings of others: if you receive presents that other people want not that you want to give; help out with the shopping, cooking and washing up, even if it is not your ‘turn or chore’; don’t take the drunk uncle’s comments to heart and brush off the inappropriate comments from your aunt about the state of your relationship or lack thereof.
Tis the season to give joy and to enjoy.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas from,