To many of us, Christmas is a time for family, love and laughter. But for some, Christmas is no different to any other time of the year, as loneliness and isolation presses on their lives, minds and hearts: the elderly, the homeless, the orphans and many others. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own way of living that we forget or we ignore or we pretend. Who could you reach out to? Perhaps it’s the homeless man you walk passed everyday on your way to work or the neighbour on your street or the elderly grandparent. What could you do? Have a simple short conversation or send them a letter or pay them a visit. Even the smallest acknowledgements that the lonely are still fellow beings can greatly brighten their day. Because they are still human. In a dark time of loneliness, we can be one beacon of light.
The holiday season can sometimes be stressful. We want to have a magical time with our loved ones, and that can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make it happen for everyone. To make it a little less stressful, we sometimes have to alter our perspective. Our expectations won’t always match our reality, and that’s ok. Sometimes the most memorable times are the spontaneous ones. Sometimes the most memorable times are the quietest ones. But most of all, the most memorable times depend on who we’re with. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we do, but who we share this time with. It’s the ones we’re with who will ultimately make it magical. Let’s not stress about the holiday time. Let it happen naturally.
Tis the season to be jolly. There’s something about the holiday time that changes our outlook on life. And that’s primarily because it’s a time for giving, for generosity and for kindness. We’re more forgiving and accepting of others’ flaws and mistakes. We’re more charitable and hospitable towards those less fortunate. We open ourselves up, letting love both infiltrate and radiate. Christmas time really goes to show how much giving can boost our happiness, our energy and our sense of worth. It’s a beautiful cycle that shouldn’t be underestimated or broken. It’s a spirit that we should hold onto all throughout the year.
There are times for standing up for ourselves and our beliefs, for walking away from people and situations, and for growing out of relationships and circumstances. There are also times for rekindling and rebuilding connections, for saying sorry or forgiving others, and for putting down our weapons. Sometimes it’s hard to know which path to tread. Deep down, we all know what is best, when it should be for us and when it should be for others. Follow your heart and follow your instincts. Spread peace whichever path you pursue, both inside and in the outer world.
(Queen’s 2014 Christmas Message)
“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
“He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A very merry Christmas to everyone!!
Whilst this time of year brings joy and love to families and friendships, I believe that Christmas should extend beyond this. We need to remember to show love to those who are easily forgotten or left behind, those we wish we could be with or those we have unintentionally lost touch with. These displays of affection are simple and effortless, but rewarding, powerful and memorable: ring a friend or family member who is currently living abroad and away for Christmas; pay a visit to a sick relative in hospital who isn’t surrounded by the homely atmosphere; send a card to somebody you haven’t spoken to for a long time; drop off a bunch of flowers to that neighbour who has always helped you out; light a candle at the grave of a lost one in loving memory; surprise someone who is living alone with some company; donate to a charity or a Christmas collection for those less fortunate. Envelop everybody in the spirit of love, because everybody deserves that special gesture, no matter how insignificant you believe it to be.