What does Christmas mean to you?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
…or so the song says. Sadly this is not true for everyone.
Is it that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus for you? Is it that you recognise the winter solstice and acknowledge the end of the darkness and the change to shorter nights and longer day as the light increases. Is it that you simply see this as a time of sharing, perhaps with family and friends. A time of warmth and social connection. Or is it that you see this as a time when you get wonderful presents and maybe that you also give wonderful presents, a time of giving and receiving.
Not so good a time
Perhaps this is not such a good time. It might be the first Christmas without someone. Maybe it reminds you of bad times in the past or negative childhood memories. Some people just want to be on their own at Christmas and get accused of being miserable.
A really bad time
Someone who is homeless is unlikely to be reading this and maybe having the worst time of their lives. There are children in war zones, old people living alone, the poor, deprived and the needy. People who are terminally ill or coming to the end of their life Christmas may be a very difficult time. Some families will have children in hospital. And for some they may not have any money or very little.
For many people this is not the most wonderful time of the year
Getting the best
Whatever Christmas means for you and whatever your stating point, what is the very best that you can get from it?
All the evidence would point to the physiological and psychological benefits that come from the act of giving. Giving may be to those that are immediately around you. It may be that you are able to contribute in some way to those around you that have so much less. Who in your street or vicinity is living alone and may really appreciate a Christmas dinner, a visit or a little present. It may be too much for you to invite people into your home but you can contribute to the homeless and those that have nothing with food, money, presents or time. If people are coming to you or you have a family to cater for creating a loving and welcome ambiance is a real act of love at this time.
What about you?
It is important when you look at the ideas of giving and loving this Christmas to look after yourself as well. What are you going to give yourself this Christmas? What are you doing for you this Christmas? The phrase ‘Charity begins at home’ starts with you. None of us can look after other people, whoever they are, if we do not look after ourselves first.
Time to consider what you want and what you need this Christmas as well as what everyone else wants and what everybody else needs.
Be happy, look after each other and enjoy it.