So this is Christmas…

I hope you have fun.

You know when you were little? Were you excited about Christmas because of the presents? Or the general fun of the day? Knowing that, for the most part, everyone was going to be in a good mood and willing to have fun. People not taking things too seriously and not worrying about their ‘problems’ too much. Obviously here I’m talking about us who have relatively few problems compared to those in war-torn and famine-ravaged countries, for whom Christmas could quite easily pass by without presents, a meal, or even family.

Of course, there is the general stress leading up to Christmas. Have I got X enough presents? Will there be enough sprouts to go around? Will the turkey be cooked to perfection?

Does that all really matter? The best bit, for me, is the festive spirit that  seems to come with Christmas. Or rather, that people seem more willing to adopt at Christmas. People seem more aware of charitable efforts around Christmas, with gifts being in the form of donations to charities, a collection of food for those less fortunate, or just chucking a couple of quid left over from shopping in a bucket being held by a volunteer.

I guess my point in all this is that it shouldn’t just be at Christmas that people are nice to each other. It shouldn’t be the only time we think of others. Equally, we shouldn’t get so stressed about any single day, or put pressure on ourselves or others.

I think Derren Brown put it rather more eloquoently than I could:

‘To talk secularly of Christmas being a time to remember others, then, does rather anaemically miss the point, but it is certainly as good a time as any other to rise to the challenge of leading a kinder, lovelier life – one that stretches far beyond the encouraged sentimentality of the holiday period.

As ever, the journey is the thing, and should be enjoyed accordingly. To forgive purely because it is nicer to forgive, and to do so when it’s a tough call; to try to speak only kindly of those we know because it is preferable to do so; to enjoy the successes of others because living thus is more enjoyable than the stress of living resentfully: such kind things make us better, lovelier people. And to try to live this way for its own merits, without invoking a supernatural reason for doing so, is to celebrate our humanity and to give kindness back its teeth.”

So, enjoy Christmas everyone. But don’t make it the only day that you do enjoy. And don’t make yourself sick trying too hard either.






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