Christmas, this wonderful time of year means something different to everyone. For some it’s a religious time, for others it represents family time with a magical visit from St. Nick. There is definitely no wrong or right way to express your joyous excitement as the days creep closer to the period reserved for merriment.

As a child growing up, we were lucky to celebrate Christmas twice. We celebrated ‘St. Nicholas Day’, the Dutch Christmas on the 5th December and then Christmas on the 25th December. I loved it….who doesn’t love more reasons to celebrate and partake in joyous festivities?

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In our family, the meaning of Christmas is all about giving and having as much fun as possible. A time to reflect on the year that has passed and to talk about the excitement of what it is to come. It’s a time of hearing my nieces and nephews squeal with delight as they get bombarded with presents and a time for the adults to sit back, relax and share some good food with some raucous laughter. That’s why it’s one of my favourite times.

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The meaning of family is never more prevalent than this time of year. If you find yourself in a part of the world, where you have no family, then my advice is to join another. My parents, in years gone by, frequently adopted those that had no family to celebrate with, inviting them to join us in our festivities. Family is not necessarily by blood but rather by those extending their arms and saying ‘Welcome!’

If you don’t have anyone near you that you can join in festivities with, never fear, you always have yourself!! Treat yourself to a bubble bath, a movie night with your favourite goodies, read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for a million years (not that anyone’s exaggerating), join an online positive chat group, or here’s a thought…..venture out and treat someone to a gesture of goodwill. There’s so many ways you can treat yourself!! It’s the perfect time to practise being kinder, to smile as you walk and to just feel good all round.

During this time of year I’m constantly in awe of the amazing people we have on this beautiful planet. I’ve heard stories of people paying for others people’s groceries, of strangers giving each other hugs, of flowers donated to those that are mourning a loss. I’ve witnessed, through the power of the internet, young men handing out cold drinks to council workers who had to work in forty degree heat, a veteran being reunited with his dogs after staff got together and chipped in the adoption cost of getting his dogs back, of a charity handing out free food and hampers to those struggling, strangers handing out gifts to whoever walks by and the list goes on. I even have a client who has used her contacts to make packs with all the necessities to give to the homeless.

The joy of giving is spread far and wide during this jubilant time of year. I love watching someone brought to tears with a loving gesture, I’m usually right there crying with them as I watch the playback. That’s the beauty of sharing these amazing stories and videos. The person listening or watching is also receiving a gift. They have been given a moment in time where they forget about their own troubles and are solely focused on the joy someone else is experiencing. The gift?? They feel joyous as well.

If you feel yourself getting caught up during this period in feelings of overwhelm, anger, stress, guilt or any other negative emotion. Stop! Take a deep breath and think of something that feels better. If it takes watching a YouTube video (whether its Abraham-Hicks or a ‘feel good’ video like I wrote about), listening to some music, reading some positive posts on Facebook, taking a quick walk outside on the grass, playing with a pet or watching your child play with their new toys, then do those activities. Whatever it takes to move yourself into that ‘better feeling thought’ will pay off in no time at all.

If you have the time this Christmas and it makes you feel fantastic, try to do a gesture of goodwill for someone. You can partake anonymously or film it for the world to see. Sometimes people have a go at others who have filmed their good deed, saying how selfish it was and how they only want the recognition. I choose to look at those people who filmed their good deeds as people who are choosing to inspire hundreds, thousands or even millions of others to go out there and do the same or something similar. It always comes down to choices and that goes for how you judge others as well. If you can’t think of something to do, there is a wonderful website that has a myriad of ideas. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org

I’ve also started this section of the blog called ‘Gestures of Goodwill’. If you know of a story or a video that shares that theme throughout the oncoming year, don’t be shy, drop me a line and I’ll post it for you. If you’re the one that has shared a gesture of goodwill, then I definitely want to hear about it!!!

So this Christmas, find that gentle, kind and generous streak that resides in all of us and let it expand to uplift those around you.

It is my wish for you that this Christmas sees you full of love, health, happiness, prosperity and above all joy.

Love to you all.

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