Christmas means different things for different people

Christmas – it can be the most wonderful day of the year for all ages. During the challenges we have all faced over the last few years, I can see how Christmas puts back the skip in everyone’s step and bolsteres waning morale.

Christmas means different things for different people. 

First and foremost, the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I often engage with my young daughters about Jesus and his journey to birth, whether through chat or through the singing of different carols I was brought up on, “Little Donkey”, “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manager” to name a few. Watching the nativity plays this year, unexpected as it was, brought so much joy and festivity for all those watching and, of course, the children were swept up in their own entertainment. A taste of normality despite all the troubles in the world.

Whilst younger children run to the living room to see what Santa has brought them, adults enjoy the family togetherness and joy that Christmas brings. I am now of the age that I look back at previous Christmases where I was running down the stairs with my brother, ripping through the wonderful presents my parents had bought me but the material gifts fade away leaving the dominating memory of having my, now passed, grandparents around me, laughing, sitting on their knees and enjoying the food around the mahogany dining room table. The warm feeling those memories bring. My father’s parents on Christmas day, my mother’s parents on boxing day. What wonderful memories I have. 

Whilst most of us are enjoying Christmas, we must also recognise that some people find this a very difficult day, for many, many reasons. Look around you and think how you could make other people’s Christmas more positive. A batch of cakes or cookies, a tap on the door for a chat, a present or a homemade card from the children – little things to you could make the world to another person.  

Have regard to the financial constraints people are under, think about donating to a food bank or those establishments coordinating present deliveries to those families who cannot afford presents for their children. I will never forget listening to the radio last year to hear about a child who wrapped up a biscuit and told her mummy that she was happy with this being her present at Christmas. To this day, it makes my tears swell. It is so sad that parents and children have to deal with these difficulties in these modern times.

I can’t write this article without writing about the magic that Santa brings to millions of children all over the world! Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle – so many names! With his twinkling eyes, his dimples so merry, his bright pink cheeks, a nose like a cherry and not forgetting his little round belly! Surrounded by little elves busying themselves in creating all these wonderful toys for the children of the world.  Watching the delight that Santa brings to so many children sweeps those around him into a world full of magic. The eyes of my daughters light up with stories of him riding the sky with his reindeer shouting “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”. Discussions on how he will get into our house: “Through the chimney or through the door with his magical key, mummy?” Spreading the magic oats in the garden for the reindeer and leaving Santa’s favourite tipple of Sherry and a mince pie on Christmas Eve creates the excitement and magic for young and for old.

Christmas 2023 is moving closer. Take the time to have a well-deserved break from work, put your IPhones to the side and be in the moment. Enjoy any children opening their presents, absorb the happiness Christmas can bring, reminisce with others, think of those who brought us much happiness but who are not with us, reflect on Jesus and think of others in a time of need.

Let me leave you with some thoughts for the New Year and self-reflection.

Life is a circle of happiness, sadness, hard times and good times. If you are going through hard times, have faith that good times are on the way.

Have a wonderful Christmas.  Live in the moment.  Enjoy.

Alexandra Milton
Partner – Private Wealth