The blessings of Christmas.
Christmas is just around the corner and for many it is a time of loneliness and distress. But does it need to be that way? “Nothing is so, but thinking makes it so” says the old saying and that is true. There are many positive sides to Christmas and maybe in these times of austerity and worry we should look at how we can give ourselves a boost when the holiday season of good will comes around.
We should start now making plans for how we can better our lot around Christmas. Do we need all the extra shopping that is part of the Christmas fever, or could we put other more meaningful things in place. Why not start now and make a list of the old friends, relations, and neighbours and start writing letters to them instead of a card with a few words, often saying sometimes meaningless? Like Happy Christmas or All the best for the season. Why not buy a writing pad and spend some time giving a review of the year past and reminisce about past years and happy events. That would make the cost of the stamp, which is now expensive, worth the bother and would also give valuable time to the writer and the receiver in the time it would take. Lonely days would be filled with action and when the letter would arrive, give your friend a thrill to receive it.
Plan for to have some friends call for a game of cards, or board game on Christmas evening. Many happy hours could be spent playing fun games and by inviting in others that may be alone on Christmas day, everyone would benefit. The time to start is now and there is no need for a big deal about food, just a cuppa and a slice of something handy. Or if you happen to live alone and get a dinner delivered by some organisation, why not get them to double up and ask another receiver of a meal to join you and enjoy the company. This would make Christmas day special for someone else, even being invited would add to the day.
When we share our time with others it brings happiness to ourselves. When we invite others to come and watch a programme on tv or listen to nice music it makes it a lot more joyful to share our happiness with others and that is what Christmas is about. It is one of the only days in the year when you can reach out and not be intimidated by the act. Bringing happiness by inviting someone else that live alone or are lonely after the loss of a loved one, a job, or even being worried to share Christmas Day will always make the day easier and happier.
When it comes to buying gifts that stretch our pockets, we do not have to buy into that commercialism. We could consider sharing our time with others instead of having to spend scarce resources. In days of yore people would go cuardaoicht, visiting neighbours and spending time chatting and whiling the time away. We could all help with eliminating loneliness and being alone if we returned to what our forefathers did when they had no money to spend on “things.”
Christmas is a time when those alone are thought about by voluntary organisations who bring gifts or just remember to call. This only happens at Christmastime so why not enjoy the attention. Families make more of an effort to visit and to spend time with parents or other relatives, these are all times we should look forward to and prepare for. With family you may have “things” beyond your needs, why not give them away while there is still time to decide who you will leave your precious memories to. It will also help to de-clutter your house and make for easier cleaning. If you happen to be handy with your hands you could start now and make something special for those who you feel you need to gift.
We can choose to be lonely and alone. We can also choose to share and show care to others at a time when these things are highlighted by the media and by all the razzmatazz that escalates around Christmas. It is only a matter of changing how we think about Christmas Day and actually doing something about it.
Peg Hanafin MSc. 3/10/2014