23 December, 2014

A Christmas Reflection

I know I’m yet to do the wrap up of my Japan trip but I’ve decided to save that for next week or maybe even a little later. I wanted to share my Christmas message with you first. I would have posted about my Japan trip last week, but after the events that unfolded in Martin Place in Sydney it just didn’t seem right.

A week later and unfortunately there has been more tragedy. The unthinkable up in Cairns as well as some sad news a little closer to home. Perhaps I’m just hormonal and emotional, but I have really been feeling this sadness. I guess everything seems amplified at this time of year. It’s a time that focuses on happiness, togetherness, friends and family and to see these awful things happening now, they just seem so much worse.

But that isn’t my point. I don’t want to depress you. It’s almost Christmas and we should be happy, not sad. This time of year can be difficult for people for all kinds of reasons. So whether you’re apart from your family, are struggling financially or just find the expectation of the celebration a bit overwhelming, I just want to say that the best gift of all is to be kind to yourself.

Tis the season to be jolly. And that doesn’t just mean making everyone else happy at the expense of your own. You have to care of yourself in order to be the best mother/wife/sister/brother/friend you can be. Start small. Allow yourself some quiet time. Even if it means walking out to the letterbox to collect the mail by yourself, taking your time and noticing the lovely gardens of your street. Or treating yourself to something you really enjoy. It could be as simple as a coffee and cake or even a dress or new pair of shoes.

That’s all well and good but that doesn’t put food on the table or presents under the tree I hear you say. And right you are. If you are struggling financially this Christmas, there are lots of places that can help. Check with local churches, community groups and charities for a hand when it comes to Christmas dinner. But remember, your love and care and attention is what really matter most to those you love. And love is free.

There are plenty of things you can do and gifts you can give that show how much you care about someone, without having to spend money. The Bloggess has some excellent ideas including making them a YouTube ‘mixed tape’ of songs that remind you of them, making a Pinterest board just for them or even just borrowing some of their favourite books from the library and reading to them. That’s something they will remember and truly treasure long after the batteries wear out of whatever new toy is out.

Christmas doesn’t have to be a religious holiday. It doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday and it doesn’t have to be a stressful holiday. Quite the opposite in fact. It should be a rewarding holiday that gives you a chance to re-connect with those you love, spend quality time together and remind you of everything in your life to be grateful for. And in case you need a little help remembering all those things to be grateful for, I recommend volunteering with a charity.

Whether you’re serving up Christmas dinner to families who can’t manage their own or delivering presents to families who would otherwise have nothing under the tree come Christmas morning, it will truly make you appreciate what you do have and will remind you of everything that is good in the world. Which despite what we can sometimes tell ourselves, far outweighs the bad.

It’s certainly been a year of ups and downs, but I have achieved so much this year and I truly am so happy with the direction my life is heading. Most of all, I’m so grateful to everyone who has stuck with the blog and supported me so much this year.

An extra special thank you to Stars and Swallows, Megan Rizzo Photography, Western Wac, and Atomic Cherry for their sponsorship and continued support of the blog. Without them I wouldn’t be able to bring you some of the fantastic content and giveaways I’ve had this year. It also just means a lot that these guys are in my corner, backing me up, saying ‘I believe in you’ and the same goes for you reading this.

So thank you, and here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. Much love to you and your families.

Merry Christmas

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