Every year at Christmas time we get whipped up in the decorating, the present buying and the looking after guests to ensure we help to make their festive celebrations as special as possible….. Each year it is lovely, but I have to admit that it leaves me with an empty, slightly unfulfilled feeling, which gets more acute as each year goes by…. I am more and more disappointed by the commercialism of the time of year and the selfish attitude of so many who expect so much from others.
However, this year, perhaps due to the circumstances of this particular year, my outlook is different. This year, I have come to understand the true meaning of Christmas and to really feel and enjoy Christmas spirit at its best.
Last week we hosted an event which was organised by Care for the Elderly, in conjunction with one of our suppliers, Hildon Water. I had agreed to the event with some trepidation as the guests were elderly, some over 100 years of age, some were frail, some very reliant on their carers and generally on a busy Sunday, leading up to Christmas, I was a little unsure we were up to the task of looking after 30 odd elderly guests. I need not have worried… those older people, most of them ladies, save a token chap or two, were simply delightful and so full of “joie de vivre” that it put the younger generation to shame! They laughed, chattered and sang their way through lunch with so much energy and verve.. They were enormously grateful to those who had arranged the treat, to us for hosting it and to their carers for making it happen. There were no dramas, no divas and the atmosphere was both inspiring and humbling. There were poignant moments when the brilliant trio of Acapella singers… they could have been the Anderson sisters; so glamourous and perfect replicas of 40’s fashion were they, with lovely voices, singing some old favourites in harmony and encouraging a sing a long…. All in all a great time was had by all and we were touched by their gratitude, their enthusiasm and their love of life.
At the other end of the spectrum, I remain involved with our son’s Pre-Prep and Prep school, even though he has long since left and is himself now at university. This week I helped at two Christmas events back at school… one was a busy day when the youngest children met Santa on his sleigh, then had Christmas lunch, all dressed up in their party clothes, followed by the older children meeting Santa in the Woods, by an open fire, toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate and mulled apple juice, with horses dressed in reindeer antlers and carol singing thrown in for good measure- a magical event at a very special school, filled with happy and delightful children, who are encouraged to stay children for as long as possible….
Being amongst the kids and experiencing such simple pleasures and seeing Christmas through their eyes was a privilege and full of very special moments that make you realise what Christmas is all about- it’s the innocence of the young, the simple pleasures that delight the elderly, the giving of gifts with thought, love and care, however simple those gifts may be, but most importantly it is sharing special moments with the people we love, care for, admire and respect and just ensuring that those around us know they are being considered and appreciated.
Thus this year, for all its challenges and unpleasant moments, has still managed to deliver special memories too and given us the opportunity to feel very grateful for the many friends we have, who have shown their consideration and concern in recent weeks
Thank you all
Until next time