Season’s Greetings as we see the year out

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Note from the editor

Undoubtedly you’ve read this far too many times already, Ctrl+V here: It has been an unprecedented year and for many it was felt most prominently during the festive season.

There were no Christmas fayres, no Christmas markets, no switching on of lights, not even the last minute rush to the shops for gifts… wait, did anyone miss that?

I won’t try to sugarcoat it. Many have missed family gatherings, some couldn’t even see their immediate family.

Yet possibly, this year more than ever helped alleviate the pressures of Christmas preparation, the shopping frenzy, hours of cooking and cleaning, instead brought us in touch with the essence of the day, which I always felt should be about being with those who matter to us the most.

So how was Christmas for you?

I consider myself fortunate this year. Family, work and coronavirus restrictions aside, I was lucky to be able to spend Christmas with my immediate family, a gathering of five of us, a luxury I understand many will have missed this year.

Ironically, the year before, different restrictions saw me by myself on Christmas day. I am thankful for that experience for personal reasons, especially in realising I can afford to say this because I have not been completely isolated for long periods.

For those of you that loneliness is your everyday life, you may want to reach out. There are several places and organisations that may be able to assist you.

Our very own Staying Well Telephone befriending service is one of these.

Money has been tight all around, yet as I suspect many of us have already discovered, after spending so long at home and actually going through what we have amassed, we don’t want for much. Or at least, I wish you don’t find yourselves lacking.

Again, if you find yourselves in a difficult position, please reach out. Provisions and help can be made available.

At my home, the presents we exchanged were items of food, you know those treats you always pass by on the shelves thinking they’re for a special time. We made this time now. We figured, food will be enjoyed, trinkets will accumulate. But wait, knick knacks there were too : rediscovered treasures, cherished stuff that I had been saving for special occasions and never actually got around to using. Such were the gifts that I received and loved every single one of them.

Cards? Homemade. From old cuttings of past cards or Christmas cracker papers. I knew I was saving them for a reason! And yes, I gave some to friends and relatives too. Many I did not. I liked them so much I couldn’t part with them!

With shameless pride I share some of the pictures  of my endeavours and if you have any of your own, please pass them on!

There are tons of ideas out there, none as good as those that will come from you.

Home decorations were made from old cardboard boxes, with generous helpings of glitter.

There was food, slightly less than previous years, which is a good thing!

And yes, kids made a heap of wrapping paper on the floor – yes, some shopping was done. But we played games, actually laughed and sang carols… I can’t remember when we did that last!

So yes, a thrifty Christmas, without trawling the shops, physical or online, in search for the perfect mindful gift. Yet somehow this felt more fulfilling, more gratifying and more opulent than many past Christmases.

Not wanting to spring it, this ties in with something that the entire team at NHP are planning for the new year. As it is something I support with a passion even, I especially look forward to the New Year!

I hope you had a great Christmas. I hope you have a fab New Year’s Eve and a better New Year!

And if not, don’t stress about it. It’d be great if it’s magical like in the songs and movies but if it isn’t, it’s just one day of the many ahead of us.

See you all soon. Let’s hope it will be face to face.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisation.