The Christmas Season & Giving

The Christmas season will soon be with us and this is a good time to reflect on the year we have had.

Personally, it has been an interesting year for me – with exciting happy moments and bad mental health days. Christmas is regularly referenced as ‘The Season to be Jolly’ and happiness is constantly portrayed in film and advertising, to encourage consumerism. Yet, many people feel lonely around this time of year and if you recognise that you feel isolated at this time, you aren’t alone. As a former media student I feel that the Christmas season has been used as a chance to portray happy families that buy extravagant gifts and are always in perfect harmony. This isn’t a realistic view of everyone’s experience.

For many, this season causes pain from the bereavement of loved ones from over the years and the anticipation of change in the New year. Christmas shouldn’t be a time for arguing and sadness, yet that is how it is for some people. It is good to remember that Christmas is rooted in the Christian celebration of Jesus’ birth – a joyous time in the bible. If anything, this is a time for thanksgiving and gratefulness for ones life and loved ones.

In a conversation with a close friend, we discussed the nature of relationships and the positives and negatives involved in them. Bringing others gifts is really just a way to express your gratefulness for them and allow you to reflect on how important they are to you. Moreover, the act of gift giving is useful to address some of the selfishness that Capitalist consumerism brings to the holiday. Giving with a heart of joy and altruism will increase the enjoyment of the season.

When you are in a difficult season, as Christmas is for many, try to accentuate the positives as much as possible. How many presents you got, how many friends you have, whatever you are grateful for: get a glass of something and toast to it.

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