Spirit of Christmas……

A comment made by a friend to me the other night on fb got me doing some serious thinking on why it is we always end up putting ourselves under so much pressure in order to ‘get in to the mood’ to celebrate Christmas. I asked the question what would inspire you to help get in the mood…..her answer….nothing. So I had to ask myself two simple questions.

How does one get into the Christmas spirit and try to enjoy this time of year? What is the Christmas celebration really all about?

It’s always difficult for a great number of people, especially those who have recently  lost loved ones, family and friends, or  for those who have family and friends serving in the armed forces thousands of miles away from home to find the right mood to be in and enjoy this time of year.

Just when does the Christmassy mood start to take over? For some it starts when they go and buy their first Christmas cards or start looking for that perfect gift for a loved one or child. For others the making of the Christmas cake or puddings. The tree being put up and decorated, ordering the turkey and buying a selection of food and drink for the Christmas day celebrations, or hearing certain carols or songs, the office party. And so the list goes on. At some point, I think it is only fair to say that there is always a trigger that helps you to get into the mood, and try one’s best in some way to deal with Christmas.

For those suffering from depression it is far more difficult and for some even impossible to find that true spirit from within to celebrate this time of year, for what ever reason is behind their illness. I  speak from experience specifically of the last two years, I lost hope even though Christmas is about hope, I lost my faith for a while…..even though I am not a deeply religious person I do hold certain beliefs and Christmas time was always a  special time for me and I have a lot of good memories from my childhood which this year I have tried to rememberin order to lift my spirits and get me in the mood.

As a child growing up in the 1970’s life was difficult financially, but my parents and my entire family always did the very best for us children and made sure that we enjoyed our Christmas celebrations. To me the most important things that happened in the lead up to Christmas were the simple pleasures, going with my Dad and brother to our allotment to cut some fresh sprigs of holly to decorate the house. Decorating the Christmas tree, deciding what baubles and bows should go where. Helping my mom prepare the ingredients to make the home-made Christmas puddings for all the family. The school carol concert, helping mom with the Christmas shopping. Helping to prepare the Christmas lunch…. the wonderful aroma’s in the kitchen of the turkey and stuffing and roast potatoes cooking away, and the pudding steaming away in the saucepan of boiling water……and remembering to top up the water level so it didn’t go dry and burn out. Mom making her own mince pies and sausage rolls ready to take over to my Aunt and Uncles house for the Christmas  night party with all the family. Christmas morning opening all the presents around the tree in the warm comfy lounge. Just so many wonderful memories. Being a child things were so much easier at Christmas, as we get older we generally see and appreciate more the hard work  effort and stress and worries that go with the Christmas celebrations and holiday.

This year has been a difficult year in many ways for my family and myself. Earlier this year my Aunt was seriously ill and remained so for many months. on a few occasions we all thought we were going to lose her. But she has survived through all this and she is with us for another Christmas…….that to me is a reason to feel good and celebrate it. I could list all the negative reasons in my life as to why I shouldn’t want to be in the mood to celebrate Christmas….but right here and right now I have enough positive reasons to try to help me into the Christmas spirit.

To finish this page tonight I want to share the following poem with my readers.

Christmas gift suggestions………..By  Oren Arnold.

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy forgiveness.

To your opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

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