I am the first to admit that I love Christmas! I love the decorations and the lights, the cheesy Christmas romance movies, the food, the giving and receiving of gifts, and the pure joy and delight on my children’s faces on Christmas morning. I love spending it with family and all the traditions that go along with it. It really is a magic time of year. For me.
That said, it’s not lost on me that this can be the loneliest time of year for some, and the busiest and most stressful time for many. In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to remind you all that giving is the true spirit, and that friendship is the greatest and most valuable gift you can offer!!
So, here’s a few tips on making Christmas a joyous time for your friends too.
1. Spend some time with them. It is the best time of year to make time for your friends. Do as many Christmas catch up’s as you can. You do not need to exchange gifts, and it does not need to cost money. Time is the greatest gift you have to offer, so make sure you have reached out and caught up with all the friends you hope to keep close in the new year.
2. Help. Think of the most helpful thing you could manage to do for your friend, that you can do and would be willing to do, and do it. Or at least offer. If your friend has all the cooking to do – suggest you get together and do your Christmas cooking as a team, splitting the duties and drinking wine as you go. Or if your friend is a parent, offer to come over after the kids go to bed one night and wrap presents with them. Maybe offer to take them to your place and wrap them for her or store them until Christmas eve. (I had a few wrapping catch ups over the last few years, and it is fun and it really lightens the load!) If wrapping isn’t your forte then perhaps offer to take the kids out of the house so the parent/s can get some things done! If you are going to the shops, phone your friends and see if they need you to grab any last minute items for them. You get the drift. Try to be as helpful as you can.
3. Thoughtfulness. If you seriously don’t have the luxury of the time to be catching up and helping, at least try and be as thoughtful as you can. A simple Merry Christmas text on Christmas morning might mean more than you realise to someone who might not have much family around on the day. If you can identify any friends who will be waking up alone on Christmas day, or even spending the day alone, try to be thoughtful and considerate! Invite them to spend time with you on the day at some point if possible. (My husband is working Christmas Day this year, leaving the kids and I to fend for ourselves. While we will be spending the day with my parents and the evening with my brother, an invite from a dear friend to go swimming with them in the afternoon really warmed my heart.) SIDE NOTE: Remember it is SUMMER here in Australia at Christmas time and it is HOT!! Anyway... If you simply can’t offer any time that day, and many of you cannot, I know, then perhaps do something thoughtful like deliver flowers, or a bottle of wine and a boxed set of DVD’s and some snacks in a hamper to help your friend fill the day with an invite to discuss the show at a later stage. Or some knitting or crafting supplies if they are that way inclined. You get the gist of it. Try not to leave any of your friends feeling forgotten.
4. Kindness. Do something kind this Christmas for someone, and don’t let on that it was you! It could be leaving a present under a wishing tree, or a donation of food, clothes, toys or money for the needy, or leaving an anonymous note telling someone that they are a wonderful person. Donate blood, or join the organ donor list. Anything that will help someone else or make them smile.
Christmas has indeed become commercialized; more about gifting than giving. Lets all try to remember that giving is a gift in of itself and these small acts and gestures are at the heart of it all.
Friendship is the greatest gift – so give yours to people freely and willingly, old friends, new friends and yet to be friends.
Merry Christmas Friends!
Your best Friend ForNever