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The Meaning of Christmas

With Christmas starting earlier and earlier each year and becoming so commercial and more politically correct it seems we are in real danger of forgetting what Christmas is about. 

We shouldn’t see it as an opportunity to spend money we don’t have on people who don’t think about us the rest of the year. It’s not about robins and snowmen and fat men in red suits flying around with a herd of reindeer on a dark snowy night. 

For those who celebrate the birth of Jesus it shouldn’t be dumbed down in order not to offend those who don’t.  Every religion has its celebrations and ceremonies and this is no exception. 

December is such a busy and often expensive time of year. I don’t mean just financial but also a drain on the body from stress and anxiety to make Christmas a huge success, buy that perfect but elusive gift, entertain relatives you find challenging.  

On top of this there is the round of colds and flu virus that are just waiting for a depleted immune system to fix on to.  We work, we shop, we stress and all for one day!  Think of how much we could achieve if we put this much energy in to every day all year round. 

Instead of being exhausted by the end of the year let’s be joyful for the festive time and thankful for all that we have. Let’s pause and enjoy the extra time away from work to refresh and get ready for all that is to be in the year to come.

But let’s also remind ourselves about what Christmas should mean.  To spare a thought for those without family, without friends, without a home or regular meals.  Can you find space in all the merriment to volunteer, to buy extra for the food bank, to donate to the Salvation Army or Crisis or any of the other wonderful charities that do such marvellous work at Christmas and indeed year round. An hour or two, a few pounds, an extra gift bought and wrapped for a child who would otherwise have no presents. Christmas is a time for giving but the joy is in the giving to someone with nothing or no one.

It may be a bit late for this year but thinking ahead we could revisit Christmas from “days of yore” and simplify the season and keep it real.  I’m sure commercial companies will disagree but I think everyone would benefit from a more meaningful season of comfort and joy if it could extend to each and every one of us, not just those who can afford it.  Kindness, compassion and empathy cost nothing in monetary terms but only the few who are generous of heart and spirit will make a difference to someone less fortunate than they are. 

I wish each and everyone a calm and relaxing stress free Christmas with plenty of time to sit back and live each moment rather than look back and wonder where that time went. A season of joy in the simplest of things with no expectations and regrets. Of being thankful and grateful for all that we have and mindful of people who suffer, who are lonely, scared and without hope for a secure future. 

If these words touch one person to make a change to one other person then I am thankful. From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow. Be the change you want to see in the world.