The big day is on its way. And whilst many people will be excited for the festivities to come, some may be feeling conflicted.
The ever-present Covid threat can loom large over the idea of family gatherings, even if they are something usually looked forward to and cherished.
Christmas can also mean different things to different people. Some love the song, lights and festive hubbub. But others can struggle with social interaction and may experience anxiety at the mere thought of gatherings at this time of year.
Some may even be without shelter, or could be facing the time alone, and the constant deluge of holiday images and depictions of 'perfect' family Christmas get-togethers can serve to heighten their feelings of loneliness and isolation.
One thing we can all do to help is show each other (and ourselves) some compassion. And the best gift we can give this Christmas might just be 'kindness'.
During the season of giving there are plenty of charities which would gratefully accept donations of food, money, gifts and time to help those in need. For example...
The Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal accepts donations of unwrapped toys and gifts and distributes them to children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present this year.
Crisis at Christmas accepts donations to help “give homeless people access to essential food and festive treats, a place to stay over Christmas and year-round support, education, and training”.
Trussell Trust Foodbanks rely on support and the donations of food from the public to provide food to those living in extreme poverty in the UK.
Age UK run volunteer friendship services (face-to-face and via telephone) to help combat loneliness in later life.
Showing kindness should extend to yourself, as well as others. If you aren't comfortable with get-togethers yet, it's okay to let people know. We're all now well versed in the ways of online socialising, so if that's what you need to feel more comfortable go ahead.
You could even arrange a 'virtual' Christmas bake-off, each person creating their Gingerbread masterpieces (or disasters) in the comfort of their own kitchen, whilst still being able to enjoy an afternoon in each others company.
Or how about a 'virtual' karaoke night, where everyone can sing their hearts out to their favourite tunes...and benefit from being able to hit the 'mute' button when it comes to those hard-to-reach notes!
If struggling to decide on the perfect gift for someone is leaving you feeling frustrated, Gift Vouchers are a great option. Not only do they take the pressure off of you, they give the recipient a chance to spend a bit of time browsing for nice-to-have items (rather than the usual 'necessities') and indulge themselves
You can purchase gift vouchers to be redeemed in our Gallery and Interiors showroom in Fordingbridge, and give someone the opportunity to select something beautiful from our wide range of art, home accessories and furniture.