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Christmas

Remember to be mindful; not everybody is happy this holiday season.

There is no denying Christmas as a kid was undoubtably just magic.

I struggle to find any other world to describe it.


Our dad always decorated our house. There were lights everywhere. Santa, his reindeers and their sleigh got stuck in a tree (he got a mate's cherry picker to put them up there).

There was a larger than life size tin cow pulling a huge sleigh in our front paddock.

There were things all over the house, the roof, the front paddock, up the trees and anywhere the eye could see.

There were spotlights, fairy lights, tinsel... you name it!

Our Christmas Eve tradition was to decorate the bus stop at the bottom of our driveway, dress up as Santa's and reindeer, fill sacks of lollies and stand down there handing them out to the many cars that lined up to see our house.When the night came to an end we'd lug everything back up the driveway, and just before settling into bed Dad would take us out on the front lawn to look into the sky and see if we could see Rudolf's red nose leading the sleigh.We were lucky some years, a plane or helicopter would be flying high in the sky and the movement of light was enough to convince me; there he is!

While dad spent ages making the decorations out of tin, wood and papermashe or fixing the broken fairy lights, Mum spent ages shopping around for all our presents that would fill our lounge room on Christmas morning, in fact, with the shopping she did I'm amazed she didn't have any elves to help.

These days...

Christmas is different.

The lead up for most people is filled with stressful trips to the shopping centre, or in my case, online shopping half asleep at 3am, thinking you got an awesome deal, bragging about it in the morning only to be told you could've actually spent less, socialising non stop with Christmas catch-ups and parties, end of year break-ups, no excuse needed sunny day drinking and that hole in your pocket money seems to keep falling out of.

I feel like there's a lot of worries, it's a mad race, a rush. A timeline we have to meet.

If I don't buy that now it won't be shipped in time, I spent more on this guy then I did on that guy... WHAT AM I GOING TO BUY THE OTHER GUY?

Despite the added stresses there is still a sense of excitement swirling around me all December, a warm feeling inside when I hear carols, do Christmas activities with the kids at work, hear what those naughty elf on the shelf characters get up to, watch a Christmas movie or set up the tree.

An excitement for not gifts or lots of food but a whole lot of love and laughter with the people closest to me.

While I have magical Christmas memories and as an adult can be filled with joy at the anticipation of its arrival, I know it's not that way for many.


Mum used to tell me that Christmas, for some people, was a very sad time of the year.

I used to rack my brain with this thought. I couldn't understand it.


Why or how could you be sad at Christmas?


Homeless people, I remember thinking one year, homeless people would be sad at Christmas because they don't have a place for Santa to leave their presents, or anywhere to put their tree, or anywhere to have Christmas lunch.

The older I have got, and the less of life I am sheltered from, the more it makes sense, and the more it plays on my mind.

There are people who are struggling, sad, stressed, lonely, grieving, heartbroken, sick; both physically and mentally.

Pain doesn't stop for Christmas; it only intensifies.


The grinch was right when he screamed "it's all about gifts".

We've got lost our way in the purpose of this Christmas ordeal.

Presents are fun; receiving something you really love and wanted, knowing someone knows you well enough to pick it out for you, or picking an amazing present for someone else and being so excited to watch their face as they open it.

Christmas means different things for different people; for some it based on their religion, for other's it is cultural. I think the main theme for everyone is Christmas is about giving; not things of monetary value but rather giving joy, love and compassion to everyone; especially those who really need it.

It's about generosity and bringing communities together and lifting people up.

Whether they're a friend, family member, acquaintance or stranger.

It's about gratefulness and love and spending time with those who are important in your life.

It isn't about how much you spent, how big your tree is or how much food is on your table.

It's about giving and receiving love and joy.


Be mindful; not everybody is happy this holiday season.

So be kind this Christmas. To yourself, to loved ones and to strangers in the streets.

You never really know what people are going through or how Christmas makes them feel.


Chloe