Last week, being rather short of time I asked some of my lovely readers for ideas for last week’s Blog. A couple of suggestions were based around Christmas from preparing for it and why putting up the Christmas decorations makes us feel so happy.

So this week now that we are well and truly into December I am going to write about some of the traditions and things that we love and enjoy about this festive time of year.

Magazine articles start to appear showing us how to enjoy a perfect Christmas. There is so much pressure placed upon people to have the “perfect Christmas” particularly on parents. As a result, I know for many it can be an extremely stressful time making sure everything is absolutely perfect, turkeys to be ordered and cooked, not to mention the Christmas shopping for presents. Sometimes there are arrangements to be made to collect other relatives who are less able to get around.

Also in the lead up to Christmas as the shops stock pile their goods high I wonder about the excess as I see people frantically filling up their supermarket trolleys on far more goods and food than they will ever need.

Adverts start appearing as early as October geared at young children so they know exactly what they want for their presents. I sometimes ask myself whether we have forgotten the true sense of why we celebrate Christmas. I also give thought to all the people suffering in the world or people who are homeless or alone and I realise how lucky the majority of us are. So when I write my Christmas cards I make a few small donations, for example, to the young girl at London Bridge who is out there every day in all weathers 52 weeks of the year selling the Big Issue.   We should remember Christmas is a time for giving, especially those less fortunate than we are and not just to those close to us.

One of the most important things for me, is it is a time when friends and family come together and, if we are lucky enough to have time off from work, we can spend time enjoying each other’s company and generally slowing down.  Equally it is a time for reflection and more importantly for giving.

Whilst putting up the Christmas tree I like to play Christmas carols to get me into the festive mood.  Then once the Christmas tree is  up I take time out to slow down and watch Christmas films such as Love Actually but my particular favourite is the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” which again gives me a reality check. If you have never seen this film I highly recommend it. It is about a man called George Bailey who falls upon hard times and is contemplating ending it all. An appearance by his Guardian Angel reminds him how his kindness has touched so many people’s lives in his hometown of Bedford Falls. It is a beautiful film on so many levels and is a timely reminder for us to count our blessings.

So back to why preparing for Christmas and putting up the decorations makes us feel so happy? For me I remember Christmases gone by, spent with loved ones who are no longer with me, and my wonderful childhood Christmases.  I love to be around children and take so much pleasure in watching them enjoy Christmas as much as we did.

I love to watch nativity plays where children of all ages are involved in recreating the scene at Bethlehem where Baby Jesus was born. Proud parents watch their children even if they do perhaps forget their one and only line. It is a special time and churches up and down the country hold special crib services with live animals trying to recreate the scene at Bethlehem.

Christmas is a time for giving, it is a time of hope, joy, love, happiness and peace. Today I heard on the radio the song by Johnny Mathis “When a child is born” which to me captures the spirit of Christmas perfectly.

Remember the “Perfect Christmas” isn’t one that is dictated by a TV advert or a magazine article it is what you make it. Perfect for just you, your family and your friends – we are all different.

Although as I sign off this week, I must confess that I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.  I would love to hear what you are wishing for or dreaming of for Christmas?

Wishing all my lovely readers a very happy love filled week and remember:-