I love all things Christmas …
If I had it my way, Christmas and the build up to it would last longer than one month. I know, I’m that person you probably HATE. I am unashamedly one of those people that starts counting down to Christmas right after Halloween. I start making lists of presents to buy, find recipes online for things to make on Christmas day , and the first weekend of December is when all the decorations come out and I get a real Christmas tree. But I know that not everyone loves Christmas, and not everybody is as excited as me when it does start creeping up on them.
The day this post goes up is Christmas eve. For me, Christmas eve is spent getting the last few bits and bobs we’ve forgotten, making sure all presents are wrapped and sitting under the tree, and meeting up with my best friends in our local pub for a festive drink. It’s become a tradition for us, and I can’t imagine starting Christmas any other way.
Not everyone gets to start the celebrations of Christmas this way though. You might be stuck in an airport, on a train or in a queue of traffic trying to get home. You may be far away from home, and spending Christmas in a new place with new people. Or, you may not have anyone to spend what is said to be one of the happiest times of year.
Not everyone gets a picture perfect Christmas
Whatever it is you celebrate over the holiday season, be it Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the holidays have a focus of family, being together, and sharing love and joy. But not everyone has family to send their time with; or some do but don’t want to for other reasons. Many people can feel alone and isolated at Christmas, for a number of reasons. Not having the money to celebrate the way others do, not having the ability to go and visit friends and family, or simply finding the whole thing quite depressing is a reality for a lot of people.
With the onslaught of Christmas content, on social media, on your television and even at the work place, it’s hard to escape from it all. But it can also act as a mask for what lies beneath some people’s christmas smiles. That Instagram post of expensive gifts, a table full of food and drinks is only one side of that persons Christmas day. The realities could be a difficult situation where families argue, people are missed and bad news could put a dampener on the whole affair. That picture perfect Christmas is not a reality for all.
It’s easy to forget that not everybody is lucky enough to have their friends and family surrounding them over the Christmas season. Christmas has always been a happy time for me, and I have to take a step back and remember how lucky I am to be able to say that. I forget that this time of year shouldn’t be all about the gifts, the lights and the food. It should be about being able to spend time with your loved ones, and thinking of and helping those who aren’t so fortunate.
Remember to appreciate all you have.
I hope that you take the time to be truly thankful for all you have this year. This is in no way a guilt trip, and I’m sure so many of us give back and are charitable without broadcasting it, but just remember how truly lucky you are if you have your health, your family, friends and love in your life.
My heart and thoughts go out to anyone who struggles with this time of year. If you’ve lost someone, are missing someone, or just find this all quite overwhelming, know it’s only one more day. Know you’re not alone, and there are so many people out there to help you if you need them.
For anyone who wants to give back this Christmas, to those less fortunate and in need, there’s a few links below that will take you to the charities donation pages:
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and I’ll see you in 2019.