Personally, I am getting a bit sick of the whole run up to Christmas. It started before Halloween was even over and retailers all over the country are doing a last minute dash to part you from your hard-earned money as I type.
At the end of the day, it’s just another Monday.
OK, it’s a Monday we don’t have to work (for most) and a day when we get to eat and stuff ourselves full of food and drink but what’s it really all about?
This year, as my kids get a bit older I am trying to move them away from the whole PRESENT focus (which is proving very difficult) and moving them towards PRESENCE instead.
For me, it’s about catching up with old friends.
It’s about playing board games round the kitchen table.
It’s about watching Christmas movies together with a tin of Roses in arm's reach, the open fire cracking in the background.
It’s about wearing those paper crown hats that come in crackers and genuinely laughing at the silly jokes that someone always says wrong.
It’s about spending time with family, realising the importance of creating memories and trying to capture them and live them in the moment.
It’s about FaceTime calls to family in different countries.
It’s about remembering and talking about the people who are no longer with us and reflecting on what they mean to us even though we can’t celebrate with them in person anymore.
It’s about a time for reflection and thankfulness for the year that has passed no matter how tough it may have been. It’s not about comparing presents and guessing how much they cost or posting what you got on social media.
It’s not about eating so much that you can’t move and then feeling disgusted with yourself. It’s not about the hangovers so severe you lose the whole next day.
It’s not about being so unappreciative that you don’t even write thank you notes or send a thank you text or call to acknowledge the gifts you receive.
This year, for many Christmas will be a difficult time. It may be their first Christmas without a loved one. A Christmas without children around the table as parents may have separated.
A Christmas devoid of many presents as the parent struggles on benefits. A Christmas full of tension and arguments as family try to get together and then remember why they stay apart for the majority of the year.
A quiet Christmas with no loved one to snuggle up to on a cold winter’s night.
Spare a thought for those less fortunate this Christmas, laugh extra loud at that cracker joke, but remember it’s just another Monday, be kind to yourself. This too will pass.