Christmas can be a time of great joy and conversely, tremendous pain. Remembering those we have loved and lost, reminscing about people and times past, and hopeful about times still to come. A concentrated month filled with undiluted feelings. Memories sparked by carols, occasions and conversations. Lovely memories can be just as tough as bad ones, when the people involved are no longer with us. Half of all Australians find Christmas hard due to finances. It can feel as though it comes upon us when we are least prepared.
There are a few things we can do to uplift ourselves and keep swimming when feeling overwhelmed.
- Volunteer! Nothing lifts your spirits like being of service to others, whether that be serving meals, wrapping gifts or talking to the lonely.
- If you haven’t the finances to give purchased gifts, how about offering a service? Babysitting, a dinner, gardening or cleaning may be what your loved one most needs.
- Cheap and lovely gift ideas include Reindeer food for kids to sprinkle on the front lawn Christmas Eve (A mix of oats and glitter in little bags), bath salts, hot chocolate mixes or a picture of you both in a painted frame.
- Walk around town and enjoy the free entertainment, window displays and decorations. Find out when carol services shall be held locally. It costs nothing and will lift your spirits.
- Whatever you do, please don’t isolate yourself. Connect with the community and friends. If Christmas is a challenging time for you, trust me, you will feel worse if you shut yourself away.
Love costs nothing, nor does enjoying the beauty of the season. It is a misnomer that you need money to be able to enjoy Christmas. You just need a full heart.