The real Christmas cheer

The real Christmas cheer

With only days to go until Christmas, the last minute preparations are underway. There is the shopping and decorating, the festive gatherings, the travelling to near and distant places to family homes. For most of us, Christmas is always a time of coming together with family and friends. It is a time of wonderful reunion and of sharing spirit. Others are not so fortunate. There are many in our midst who do not have welcoming family or friends or resources to celebrate Christmas day.

Fortunately there are organisations and groups that help to bring Christmas cheer to those who struggle in the community. This week I was part of the Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society) team who collected and delivered presents for children, along with food hampers for families doing it tough. What an amazing system of coordination and logistics! Hundreds of hampers loaded up with festive and culinary delights, and thousands of presents classified into age and gender groupings that were collected by Santa’s little helpers and distributed to families.

And what wonderful surprise and appreciation greeted us as we delivered the goodies! It is terrific to know that others also get to share some special treats that are part of the Christmas spirit.

We know that commercialism takes the limelight at Christmas time, and it can be easy to lose sight of the very reason that Christmas is celebrated. When we see groups like Vinnies spreading the Christmas spirit among families who are going through hard times, we are reminded that Christmas is a time of bringing brightness into people’s lives. This of course, is the origin of Christmas and the real reason that we continue to honour this day. It is the very reason that many include religious worship as central to their celebrations.

Holding onto perspective amidst tinsel and noise keeps me grounded and real, and appreciative of the gift of giving.

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