Well, today I made the final preparations for Christmas and as a result I’m feeling so much better, it’s like a weight has been lifted.  There’s always such a lot to do and the list seems endless but, today I seemed to wake up with the feeling of, ‘What’s done is done and what isn’t done, well, we’ll just have to do without at this stage!’

There comes a point with Christmas preparations when you’ve just got to think, ‘Enough’s enough’ and that’s the point I’m at!  We’ve bought all of the Christmas food, we’ve had our cookery meeting and agreed on timings of veg, meat, which desserts we’re having, the drinks list and a whole host of other things that we need to prepare for Christmas day, so I think we’re about there.

But, this morning I woke up with a slightly different perspective and it made me truly appreciate everything I have and the family and friends that surround me.

My morning started with a text from a friend who told me she’d had some bad news in relation to her health and had to have an op in January to help rectify the problem.  This wasn’t great news but, she’s remained positive and I hope 2016 brings her health and happiness.  This news also reminded me of other close friends who were also suffering in one way or another and started me thinking about them.

In recent months I’ve had friends who have had health scares and ongoing problems, bereavements, sick parents, family worries and a whole host of other things they’ve been dealing with and it’s been hard to see.  There are so many things we’ve got to all juggle in life today and it’s times like these that you realise how hard and cruel in some cases life can be.

Christmas is a happy time and should be celebrated but, for some it’s also a really difficult time and it can be a constant reminder of the difficult things they’re dealing with or the loved ones they’ve lost.

So today I’ve done a lot of reflecting (as I often do) and have truly viewed things with a slightly different perspective.  That’s not to say I’m not going to join in the festive spirit, of course I am.  I’ll celebrate with my family and friends and Richard and we will cook our first Christmas dinner together (after 10 years) but, I’ll also have an appreciation for the things that my loved ones are going through too and I’ll be sure to take a step back on Christmas day and truly appreciate everything I’ve got and I hope you’ll do the same.

As I go through life I seem to come across more hurdles and notice that more friends and family are going through difficult times.  It’s during these times that I often reflect and have a feeling of gratitude towards the simplest of things and it makes me have a real appreciation of the life I lead and the people that surround me.

It might sound like a cliche but, as I get older and have my own children, my perspective changes and the meaning of christmas seems to be much deeper and more about, ‘ giving’ and ‘appreciating’ than anything else and that’s the way I plan to spend my christmas with my loved ones.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!