I LOVE Christmas.
I love spending time with friends and family, the excitement building up to the big day; I love the carols and the ugly jumpers and stuffing my face with all the amazing food I’m able to get my hands on! The best part however, is the opportunity I get to reflect on the birth of God’s incredible gift to the world, Jesus Christ.
Although Christmas can truly feel like the most wonderful time of the year (shout out to Andy Williams for that mega tune), this isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. For some, the festive period can be really painful. It may bring up difficult or sad memories, others may be going through tough situations, or this season may signify loneliness and isolation, a far cry from the comfort of a loving family.
My mum actually lost a close friend to cancer on Christmas day a few years back and I know this time of year is probably bittersweet for her, just as it is for many many others.
Getting into the festive spirit at Christmas is probably one of the best aspects of this time of year, but it’s also important to be sensitive to the people around you who are going through hardships. It doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t celebrate, but instead, it may require you to be a little more considerate and understanding.
Perhaps this Christmas, your greatest gift will be taking the time to empathise with someone who may be struggling physically, emotionally, or spiritually at this time of year.
Below are some simple things you can do to make your loved ones feel special this Christmas, whatever their circumstances may be.
A Random Act Of Kindness
We all appreciate when people do nice things for us, so why not gift someone with an unplanned act of kindness this year? This doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money or putting in a load of effort to pull it off.
Acts could include spending some quality time with a loved one, paying a stranger a compliment, writing a letter to a friend describing all the things you love about them, or doing something spontaneous with someone who’s feeling a bit down. You can get super creative with this and it can really help to brighten up someone’s day.
Talk About Jesus
Christmas is the perfect time to remind those around us why we celebrate. It’s not about the presents, or the food…or even Michael Bublé! It’s about this incredible love story that continues to stand the test of time more than 2000 years on.
In Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have gained this extraordinary freedom that we didn’t deserve, but which our Heavenly Father offered up to us so freely. Even in the difficult times, just reminding people of this might be exactly what’s needed to lift their spirits.
This might be a bit of a weird one as love can often seem like a pretty abstract concept, but 1 Corinthians 13 lays out the amazing qualities of this emotion. Love is patient and kind, it isn’t selfish, dishonourable or easily angered, it doesn’t envy and it never, ever fails. Regardless of how upset or closed off those who are hurting may be, I challenge you to show them real, selfless, unfaltering love this Christmas.