December 2019, we have now almost survived the run-up to the festive season, just the last manic countdown, then hopefully time to enjoy the festivities, families, friends or even some peace and quiet. Whether you love it or hate it, embrace it or fight it, time does not standstill. It is probably the month with the most expectations, internally and externally. The happy, jolly portrait of a family gathered around a bedecked Christmas tree, with a multitude of brightly wrapped gifts underneath can be a very hard scene to contemplate for many people, for many reasons.
Recently on my way to the airport for my amazing introduction trip to Ireland, it was stupid o’clock in the morning, we were discussing the upcoming festivities and how we would be passing them. My taxi driver was a young Indian man, he told me he has small children, he is working 2 jobs, so time off is always difficult and although they do not celebrate Christmas they do participate with friends and family members.
He went on to tell me, that there are a group of friends from all ethnic backgrounds and ages, who join together on the 25th to enjoy the company and friendship. They have a lovely meal, which they all donate a dish, so truely international and they take it in turns to host the meal. This really made me think about how so many people could simplify and reduce the financial burden of the Christmas festivities, by taking a leaf out of their book.
Is not the real spirit of Christmas, the joy of sharing with others, not necessarily spending fortunes, or being isolated because you do not have family or loved ones with you? Getting people together to enjoy being social and offering the hospitality of your home, to neighbours or people around you, could make all the difference to you and to them.
There is not an easy way to pass each year without any trauma, tragedy or happiness touching our lives and we seem to culminate this in December, maybe because it is the last month, maybe because we have a tendency to reflect and make plans for the coming year. It is part of each of us to make the most of those around us, enjoy being with them and engaging in each day. It is easy to isolate yourself without feeling lonely, but over time the pangs of loneliness will seep in. As humans we are tribal by nature, so using this natural instinct and linking with others, could just make the difference this festive season.
As for me, I have spent many Christmas times away from home, away from family and dear friends, but I have been lucky in so much, that the new friends I had made while away helped me to participate if not celebrate the season. This year, however, will be different, I am sharing a family Christmas with my daughter and grandson, the 2nd one of a new tradition, it has taken a long time and many bridges crossed to make this possible, but it is always worth the effort of reaching out and engaging with others.
Where ever you are and with whoever you choose to share this season, I hope it will be a happy one and one you can build on for your future.
I also would like to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout 2019, I have appreciated all the likes, comments and shares on Social Media and all the emails and messages. I wish you a joyful, peaceful, healthy and happy festive season and a wonderful 2020.