Whilst it seems like the majority of the western world are putting up decorations, running around doing their Christmas shopping and organising where they are going on Christmas day, there are many people out there who struggle with this time of year for one reason or another .
Watching festive films whilst being snuggled in the warmth is another Christmas joy and I personally love the Grinch. Not just because of his rambunctious cackle or due to his fabulous one liners but because he reminds us, including children that not all people like Christmas but being sensitive to this can help them to get through it too. The next time you walk around a local town look out for how many things are centred around Christmas; the music playing in shops, bars and on the streets, trees, lights, shop windows, Santa, elves, readily made present packages, special Christmas offers, fair rides, Winter Wonderland, the Christmas market and of course the inevitable swoon of people wearing Christmas jumpers! That is just going for a walk around, if we sit down and watch the T.V, scroll through facebook or turn on the radio, it would be hard to avoid the festivities. Don’t get me wrong I love it, it really can be a special time of year but imagine if it was your first Christmas after losing someone you really loved, you were in debt, could not be with your family, you were ill and the list goes on. Something that is quite an everyday occurrence but still catches me off guard is seeing the amount of homeless people sat in shop doorways asking for change with no response, people don’t even look at them, like they don’t even exist. I can’t imagine how soul destroying that must feel. At this point it is probably worth mentioning that we can feel sad for any number of reasons and not just the most extreme ones mentioned above or seen in your favourite soap!
All this understandably becomes easy to overlook whilst we are flapping and panicking to try and ensure our nearest and dearest are happy and that we have a magical day with our loved ones. This often includes buying that toy that is sold out everywhere and making sure we have enough food for a small army! We may think, I haven’t got time to help out at the shelter or find money in my purse to give to the homeless guy, besides I don’t have any money to give! Yet, we all have time. That minute you take to forage through your bag might give that homeless guy the chance to get his first bit of food for the day or if needs be the drugs he needs to feed his body and let him escape for a while. You might think you are far away from hitting hard times but what if you did? What about when you get old? Would you want to live in a society that would help you get back on your feet or not? You might think, well my little bit of help is not going to make any difference but then if we all thought like that, charity wouldn’t exist. So you can chose to be the one who ignores suffering or you can do any little thing you can to help. When you walk past a homeless person sat near the Christmas market get them a cuppa. If you cook too much food at Christmas, don’t throw it away, find a local food shelter to take it to. If you are given gifts you don’t like or won’t use, give them to a charity shop. Spare a thought for those who are alone, those who can not be with their families, those caught in conflict without food. Even if you don’t think there is anything you can do right now, maybe you could help as part of your New Year’s Resolution, maybe you could hold a fundraising event for a cause. You could even volunteer some of your free time with a local club, even if it is just one time! Then when you indulge next Christmas you can relax in knowing you have not only worked hard to provide for you and your family but you have worked to help others in the world. Crack open that bottle of wine and eat all that food until your heart is content. After all, feeling loved and sharing the love you have is what Christmas is all about right?