Monday, 23 December 2013

What does Christmas mean to you?

When someone mentions the word 'Christmas' to you, what is the first word which pops into your head. Do you think of the food, the alcohol, the music and singing? Do you think of the fashion, cuddling up in Christmas jumpers and woolly hats? Do you think of all the millions of TV specials and films? Or do you think of Santa Claus or even the baby Jesus, who somehow seems to have been buried under all the consumer paraphernalia in this celebratory season?

To me, the most important thing at this time of year is family. And that's immediately where my thoughts turn in this festive period. This is a time, sometimes the only time in the year, when we are actually altogether and make the effort to spend some proper time with each other (which should probably happen a little more frequently but it's better than nothing right?!) We simply hang out, laughing, arguing, eating, drinking and generally having fun. We revert to our childhood selves and (ultra competitively) play board games and watch films. We go on walks, catch up on each other's lives and spend some quality time together.

Christmas can be stressful yet I don't think it should be. That's not the point. People rush around the shops, trying to find that perfect gift and stocking up on enough food to feed a small country. But I believe everyone should relax, stop a minute and just appreciate what is in front of them. Be thankful. If you are in the warm and dry, opening gifts, absolutely stuffed and surrounded by one or more loved ones, you are so much luckier than the majority of people on this earth. So just have fun and try not to kill each other in the process.

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