‘Tis the Season

Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? I have to remind myself of this constantly, not only so I don’t forget to acquire the necessary presents, but because to me it still feels like we’re somewhere in October! (This is despite in store decorations and the frequency with which I get told, “Mummy, it’s only X days until Christmas!”)

This year has been interesting, challenging and full of change. As we head full throttle towards 2014, I have been to more parties per week than I’ve attended in months! Fun, but who would have thought frivolities could be so exhausting?! Yesterday I even had TWO Christmas parties: one with my writing group and one with family. As always, each event was full of laughter and some VERY fine dining! (Yum!)

As the writing group party wound down, one of my writing friends and I took a moment to chat and reflect. As people were savouring treats, laughing and exchanging gifts, I noted just how different each member was and how much strength and wisdom this diversity added to our group – like a support network.

Even though it is a season of such hope and joy, for some, Christmas can be a painful, lonely time. The reality is that some people don’t have a safe place where they can feel accepted and loved. It can be easy to forget this if we’re a part of a bigger, comfortable network.

That’s where the Christmas season becomes a great opportunity to hone our giving skills and reach out to others. And this doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are many opportunities to be involved with charity groups to support needy families in both small or large ways, but I’m sure we can all think of someone within our own circles who are disconnected, lonely or don’t share the same blessings we have. This might be a neighbour, a friend doing it tough, or even a stranger we frequently see on the street.

Perhaps this Christmas we can take a moment to consider and take action on an appropriate response to brighten the day of a lonely or needy person and let them know they are valued – even if it’s as simple as delivering some homemade Mars bar slice with a friendly smile.

Best of all, we can look for these opportunities any time of year, not just at Christmas!