Maybe it is time to slow down. The hustle and bustle of the festive season is upon us and suddenlythat’s all there is, it can seem. Overplayed Christmas songs which never fail to provoke something:good or bad.  Oversized Christmas trees where it can be hard to appreciate the beauty because it is all too much to take in. Overindulgent tendencies with chocolates, mince pies and whatever maytake your fancy. Christmas is a ‘big thing’ and increasingly with big gifts - gone is being satisfied with a few golden chocolate coins in the stocking as real money is far better or a credit card.

Christmas means so many things to so many people. There are family rituals, rules and particular 

methods of doing Christmassy things.  One person may have family around and do absolutely 

everything because they always have and it may become an expectation but maybe ‘Auntie’ could 

do with a rest and other members of the family have their eye on a Christmas Feast package in a 

restaurant for a change. One person may be volunteering in a soup kitchen on the 25th and another on holiday to have a different experience.

Photo ©Copyright Paula Smith

Christmas can be lonely though with many managing to grin and bear it, dreading it and somehow

just barely getting through it. For some, Christmas may have lost its magic,as without a special 

loved one around there might just be no point anymore.

I believe I have become ‘Christmas neutral’ as since the pandemic visits with family members 

has demanded flexibility and change. For the first time my family ordered a take out in order to 

take the stress out of cooking, contributing to it feeling like just another ‘day’ which it is of course with the individual choosing how to spend it. The idea of it being ‘a winter holiday’ appeals somewhat - a month to enjoy indoors and being creative with hot chocolate or mulled wine.  

There is a huge creative side to the season - card making for a more personal touch, surprises, a work of art dessert and the popular Christmas jumper come back which may just embrace a sense of togetherness.


As for extravagance, each to their own Christmas objectives. One person's Christmas budget may be another's annual income. Splashing out it seems can mean a host of purchases but when these

purchases outweigh ‘quality time’ we may wonder what it’s all about these days. A gift of a killer hand bag might say you are worth a lot to the giver but potentially seeing more of the gifter could be the first priority on your Christmas list.  

As per usual a modest Christmas will be on my agenda. Also as the 3rd of December is ‘International day of persons with a disability’ which was established by the United Nations in 1992, a time for reflection feels appropriate to consider others, the self and the future. From bad cracker jokes, to cracking open a bottle of something, some may slip through the cracks altogether during what can be a tricky time. 

Paula Smith

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