As the festive season approaches, I think it’s easy to drown in glitter and be swept along with a somewhat sparkly facade. Which is absolutely a good thing. But, the Christmas countdown can be so painful for many and that is well worth remembering too.
This time last year I was facing a serious operation, and said surgery eventually fell on 23rd December. It may sound the worst week to have a hospital trip, yet I was wrapped in the most amazing support and love from family and friends. I would have been lost without them, and they all picked me up from a very low ebb. Recovery was crappy; no-one wants to be in pain or feeling the post-general anaesthetic emotions on Christmas Day.
However, all of this just made me appreciate that Christmas is not always what is sold to us on TV, and that treasured gifts contain kindness. My favourite presents last year were the friend who drove a five hour round trip to hold my hand going into theatre and the mum-in-law who made me cry with laughter on Boxing Day.
Gees, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t asked for/ordered myself some Swarovski earrings and the rest of those stocking fillers I’m currently coveting. But, my main wish for this Christmas is health, happiness and time with those I love.
I’ll be spoiling my nearest and dearest this Christmas, while also working on any acts of kindness I can deliver. An understanding smile, a sympathetic ear… all of the above make a difference to anyone struggling.
The Christmas message can still be of glitz, party season and reindeers, as long as these superficial symbols are accompanied by support and empathy. And, a massive dose of festive kindness served up alongside your tasty chocolate orange.