It’s that time of year again. Time for joy, for togetherness, for family, for celebration.
“But wait!” I don’t hear you shouting. “I’m not Christian! I don’t celebrate Christmas!”
To which I say … I’m not a Christian either. In fact, I celebrate the Christmas season much in the same way Americans supposedly celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s that time of year, as this calendar year closes, where I give personal thanks to those that are around me, I remember the troubles and achievements of the year behind us and look forward to the challenges and opportunities for the year ahead. It is in this time where I look around me and celebrate being with those that are closest to me. I celebrate the friends that are around, I celebrate the family I have, I am grateful for those that are nearby. I keep those who have no families in my mind and I am that little more friendly to those I pass in the street. It’s at this time of year that I make a semi-coherent blog post, encouraging happiness and warmth in the world.
This year, I also plan on being incredibly anti-social and watching Christmas DVDs all day. A day of The Polar Express, the Muppet Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street and Jack Frost, coupled with delicious food and hot chocolate, and maybe a glass of wine or seven, and it is highly likely that I shall sacrifice a few hundred mince pies to the great Goddesses that control the world from SM Entertainment … or at least eat them in my annual bout of wallowing in self-pity at another year where I have yet to see them perform live.
With the exception of the Korean Pop reference, I encourage you to do the same. Use this opportunity not as a religious celebration, but as a celebration of community. Use it as a way to reach out to those who live nearby and show they are in your thoughts. With the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of older people who themselves will be alone this festive season, take five minutes from your day to sit with them and share your table or your time. Show them that they are thought of and cared for this year.
For those who are fortunate enough to live near a community centre that will be providing Christmas dinner for those who would be otherwise alone, consider lending a hand. If you have the time, go to the centre and offer to peel potatoes or veggies, or even just to wash up. Be the one to listen to the stories of those you ordinarily would never get the opportunity to speak with, and show them the true spirit of the holiday season.
With that said, Merry Christmas, and may whichever universally unifying thing you believe in bring you joy and happiness in 2017.