Christmas. The most famous widely known holiday of the year.With less that a week to go most of us really are on the home stretch and getting rather into the holiday spirit. No doubt you have your presents wrapped and a gaily twinkling tree adorns one corner of a room in your home. Your turkey is ordered and invites have gone out to auntie doris and uncle bert, after all someone has to entertain grandma right?
Im sure you picture everyone seated around the table, passing food from hand to hand as you all squabble over who has more potatoes than whom. Wrapping paper colorfully strewn amongst the piles of presents despite a frazzled mothers best attempts to clear it up. Yes im sure this christmas scene is one we are all very familiar with, isnt it? Or is it?
My thoughts drift to christmases past when they were so far removed from the merry scene i described. Memories of christmases alone, sometimes with a christmas dinner for one and sometimes with nothing more adventurous than a sandwich in a cold single room. Interminably long the day stretched and back when i was young i cried, i am not ashamed to admit that i did, never will you feel more lonely than on a christmas day alone. Older solo christmases i did not cry, for i had learned by then that i was still fortunate, much more so than some.
Having experienced life on the streets and the harsh relentless life it affords my thoughts turn to those poor souls as soon as the weather turns cold. Suddenly presents and turkey do not seem so important and i remind myself that despite a hard year i actually have much to be grateful for. Had my life not changed the way it did and taken a more happy route, i could still have been one of those unfortunate people and not where i am now. While you are eating your turkey let your thoughts dwell a moment on those with no families, the elderly or the young. Those who will spend christmas alone forgotten and unloved.
Yes christmas is a happy time and a time for giving yet so few of us see or care about those who need it most. Next time you pass a homeless person begging for change ask yourself can i REALLY not spare any? Would i really want someone to refuse to meet my eye and hurry past if that were me sitting there in their place? Oh we’ve all heard the stories, how the street dwellers spend any money given on drink and drugs, but who are we to decide how another spends their money. In truth in their place would you not want to drink and block out the reality of your existence? i’m sure many of you would.
Next time you pass someone worse off than you, reach out a hand and help. Say a special thank you this christmas, not for the gifts and the food but for the fact that you are lucky enough to have a life that includes them.
Merry christmas to one and all