Has HAPPY has gone out of Christmas? It has become endless jingle bells crooned over shopping mall intercoms, a mad rush to buy and wrap presents, pressure to buy chocolates and cookies and cakes that we don’t need and shouldn’t eat, Christmas markets selling tat and trivia, and the cook stressing over how to present the perfect turkey.
It doesn’t matter whether you are religious or not, Christmas deserves to be a special time- a time for friends and family, a time to be generous and to share. Many people don’t even have the money to buy enough food, let alone presents. Many are far from the people they love and the place they call home. And holidays are especially difficult for those who are alone or lonely.
Here are my suggestions for a happy Christmas:
- Agree with the family on a limit to be spent on presents and stick to it.
- Shop for and wrap presents as early as possible. Once it’s done, you’ll be surprised what a relief that is.
- Get your kids to do a clean out of all the toys they no longer play with and go with them to take the ones in good condition to a child or crèche that needs them.
- Do the same with your clothes.
- Think about how you can bring happiness to others
- Invite someone who is lonely to join you for Christmas dinner.
- Make or bake something extra and take it to the homeless shelter.
- Cook carefully so that nothing is wasted. Remember there is no Planet B.
- Turn off social media for 24 hours over Christmas and ban phones unless it is to wish others.
- Be love. If that difficult family member starts their usual nonsense, be love.
- Create traditions that you repeat every year, no matter how silly or simple.
- Be grateful.
My wish is that you have joy and laughter this festive season. Happy Christmas to you all.