Love is a Gift

It’s still November yet the John Lewis ad has already aired and I’ve been harrassed more than once by Olaf the Snowman from Frozen in the Open Market. I’m no Grinch but I do draw the line personally at embracing the Christmas Spirit before December 1st. If you’re an early Christmas lover then that’s fine, you do you hun.

I have had more than one conversation about the darker side of Christmas though and even though I don’t want to be ‘that guy’, I do think it’s important to acknowledge and understand that not everyone is full of the joys of Rudolph this time of year. The Christmas season is incredibly difficult for many people for many different reasons – and the relentless onslaught of Mariah Carey holiday songs can take its toll (is there more than one actually?). Everywhere you look when you’re not feeling it is a homage to the big man and his pals – it must be unbearable.

This very topic came up at work yesterday as a collection of us gathered around one of our phones to watch an ‘alternative’ Christmas video. You might have seen it yourself on television as its creators have been interviewed a couple of times and lots of viewers are saying it’s even better than the Elton John JL advert this year.

The concept is simple in itself, and features a thirtysomething man listening to cassette tapes on an old Walkman, left to him as a gift by his late mother. Each tape is a touching personal message recorded for him for every year she was able to do it. Its tagline is “Love is a gift that lasts forever. Merry Christmas.”

Most of us were near tears even talking about it but a couple of people pondered why we have to think about sad things at Christmas – which prompted quite an interesting debate. While I get that point, it’s not a choice for a lot of lonely or bereaved people. There are people with nothing in this world, who barely get through their day to day lives, let alone the festive season. Just because everything is sprinkled with a light dusting of glitter does not mean that those troubles go away.

This isn’t a call to arms really. There are a lot of things you can do to give back this Christmas, from volunteering to reaching out to someone who may be struggling. Even just standing up and saying you’re there for your friends and colleagues if they need anyone can be a good thing. I’ve seen a couple of Facebook statuses over 2018 that touch on that same point.

Life is tough at the best of times and Christmas is hard – it’s financially stressful, socially exhausting and there’s a lot of pressure to pull on your favourite ugly sweater and get into the spirit. What if you can’t? I just think we should be conscious of each other and kind wherever we can be.

What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, have a look at Love is a Gift, the short film mentioned above.

Stealing From Friends: Belle of the Bluegrass on Anxiety

I don’t often reblog but I think perhaps I should start because it’s always nice to share. It also takes the pressure off when you’re going off for the weekend and have forgotten to queue something up in your own words!  (Semi-kidding).

Please read Belle of the Bluegrass‘ post below as it’s frank and beautiful, and I think might come as a great comfort to people who suffer from the same condition.

I’m an anxious person (as are some of my closest friends) and I think it’s incredibly important that conversations about Mental Health, depression and anxiety are open and out there for all to access. Having to play down feelings or be made to feel like they’re trivial is not helpful at all.

Anyway, read and enjoy – and maybe give Lydia some solidarity!

My anxiety has been horrendous this past week, it hasn’t been this bad in a very long time. Multiple daily panic attacks have exhausted me and made me think at certain points, that I am losing my damn mind. I have a phobia of the doctors, but I dragged myself there feeling the weight of […]

via My heart is pounding, I don’t want to be in my skin — Belle of the Bluegrass