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Taking Christmas into the New Year and Beyond

How to use the Christmas break to kickstart 2022

I love to share articles and posts that resonate. This is one of those times...I hope you enjoy reading Taking Christmas into the New Year and Beyond by Sid Madge.

It’s almost time to choose how Hugh Grant’s Christmas goes: the one where he starts out being an island (Ibiza) or the one where he’s a Pointer Sisters-loving Prime Minister. Or perhaps you have a different favourite Christmas movie. There are plenty to choose from, and there are many other ways to enjoy Christmas. That got me thinking what types of sparkles and joy we could all bring more of into our lives, businesses and to our work colleagues this coming year using classic Christmas elements.

The Giving

A key focus of Christmas is the presents. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like Christmas for so long, as it seemed to be less about being thankful and spending time with family and friends and more about what someone got for Christmas. It also used to depress me a bit that all this money was wasted on gifts that no one wanted or that were pointless when so much of the world had nothing.

I was moved by an article I read in the Guardian by June Eric Udorie who at just 14 decided not to ask for any gifts for herself but instead she asked family to buy gifts for children at the local orphanage and she delivered them on Christmas morning while her sister was unwrapping her gifts. For a moment she was jealous and regretted her noble gesture, but she witnessed the joy that giving can create. Adding, “I learned that the joy I felt at Christmas was not something to be taken for granted”. It really stopped me in my tracks. Not only was I impressed that she would do something so selfless at just 14 years old, but it called me on my own behaviour and made me think about how lucky I am that I have presents to give, and to receive. One quote from the article really resonated - "It ought to be a right, but it is a privilege to feel safe and loved at Christmas”.

Take a moment to consider what you received for Christmas last year? Where is that stuff now? Maybe we should all buy a little less and share a little more. It only takes a moment to give a kind word or a gesture of encouragement and those gifts last a lifetime. Even a simple smile can make someone’s day.

The Tree

Whatever shape, form or material it’s made from look at the tree as a metaphor for gratitude. I’ve got a reusable tree and each year there is so much excitement as I get it out of the attic and me and my lovelies decorate it. To be honest, they decorate it and I just enjoy watching their little faces light up.

I don’t see it as a tree full of Christmas decorations but as a symbol of ‘love, hope and joy’ for them, me and the world. It represents all that is good with the world and all that we can be grateful for. I am certainly grateful for them as they squeal around the living room, deciding what bauble or ornaments needs to go on which branch. And what to put on the top? Decisions, decisions.

The whole process has enormous meaning for us as a family. We have Mr Men and Little Miss characters, baubles from Frozen, and umpteen animal figures made from felt, plus countless homemade hangings that each tell their own story. It often reminds me of the nativity play from the film Love Actually that featured a lobster!

Whether at home or at work, every time you look at the Christmas tree, instead of rolling your eyes are muttering, “Humbug”, use the tree as a trigger for you to think of one thing you are grateful for in your life.