Christmas is soon here and with that the days of loneliness will be even more obvious to some people around us.
This time of year can mean different things to some of us. Sometimes it can be a great time and other times be both stressful and upsetting.
How do you feel when looking back on Christmas as a child?
What was it like? What do you remember the most?
It makes me think of my parents and siblings. My grandparents, aunt and cousins all joined us every year on Christmas Day.
Swedish Christmas is on the 24th and that was always such an exciting day as Santa came to the house, bringing gifts in his sack. The feeling of belonging and being part of this big, noisy, loving family is something I still carry with me, even after 34 years of living abroad!
I have realised that growing up with this was a privilege. So many others associate Christmas with fights, stress and unhappiness and it's heartbreaking hearing some stories.
How can we ensure that our children get to feel love and belonging?
Are there friends, colleagues or neighbours who don't have any family to be with?
Christmas is about sharing and showing love. There is no need to lavish gifts on each other. Thinking back, most of us remember how something or someone made us feel, not what they gave us.
Give love, time, attention and caring. The rest is secondary.
Here are some ideas about contribution this Christmas:
-Volunteer your help
-Give gift bags to charities to hand out
-Invite someone new who might be on their own otherwise
-Limit the gifts you give to your kids
-Talk to them about giving and what it means and they can give some of their toys away instead
-Pay attention around you, be inclusive - make sure people in your workplace are included to the various events as some might not feel like they are welcome...
Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous time!