Finding the Christmas spirit

Just a few days to go and yes it will still be Christmas Day. Despite the newspaper headlines and media discussion Christmas is not cancelled. But for all of us it is going to look and feel a little bit different.

I am not going to analyse the details of what has happened this week and whether it could have been more effectively managed. I have waded through the mountains of coverage in the Sunday newspapers, watched Matt Hancock talk on Sky and BBC, and have listened to people angry, upset and sad about the announcement yesterday. We cannot change the situation, we can only change how we view it.

We are living through a pandemic. It shouldn’t be a surprise that it means things have to change. If the past year has shown us anything it is that change is a constant and we need to find ways to deal with it more effectively. These are skills that many of us have been lacking.

If I look back I realise that my 49 years have been relatively calm and unaffected by any huge situations. It is only now that I appreciate the consistency that has existed in my life. I was able to control a lot, choose what to do, choose my career, choose when to stay in and when to go out. I never thought about it until the end of March 2020. Now I realise that I can only control how I respond to things and what I do.

This is a difficult time. It is putting pressure on us all. I am not saying we can all just shrug this off but we need to take small steps to look after ourselves and each other. Looking at things differently, and trying to find the positives in each day are my starting point. My Christmas is going to be different. Just me and my partner at home, cooking for the two of us (not easy with one vegan and one meat eater), a brief socially-distanced visit to my parents, and very sober. I have some work to do which will be a welcome distraction.

Christmas is about traditions. Let’s use this Christmas to make some new traditions. No-one needs to be alone this Christmas if we reach out to help each other as we have during the past 12 months. If anyone would like a chat this Christmas I am here. It may be over Zoom but we can still share a bit of Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas to you however you will be celebrating.

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