With only 4 weeks to go until Christmas day, I love the anticipation of Christmas, but most of all seeing the wonderful displays in the shops, the colourful and beautiful lights that cheer up the dark evenings; seeing the hopes and wishes coming together as families plan for this magical time, and knowing that the being together is more important than the mountain of food you'll be left with!
But most of all, there are the memories of this time of year.. We all have stories about that Christmas when something strange, wonderful or just plain crazy happened; when something planned went awry and something even better came of it. The sense of family and community, the carols, mince pies and laughter around a table groaning in food - the togetherness, or for some the loneliness, but we need to share this sense of well-being with others and capture those moments in our hearts.
So give more this year, smile at strangers, make that call to the friend you've not heard from for a while, pop round to your elderly neighbour to say hello and stop for a cuppa, go to that carol service and sing your heart out or support a local charity, give blood for the first time or help at an animal shelter. Pay it forward into 2018 with gifts that mean so much more.
As Dr. Seuss once wrote: “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?