Christmas, a favourite time of the year for many. I imagine right now on the streets of London people are frantically buying Christmas presents, lights everywhere, Christmas tunes blaring from various shops and decorative accessories beckoning eager shoppers to come in and spend their hard earned cash in the spirit of Christmas. I can only imagine right now because whilst the rest of the world is busy preparing for this season, I’m scooped up on my couch with the worst flu known to mankind, short of the dreaded avian flu – not that I know what that felt like but I feel like I’ve come pretty close judging by the past few days. With nothing better to do, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this season a lot and whilst I’ve always been a lover of Christmas and have declared it my favourite time of the year in times past , I’ve also come to see and experience a less than glamorous or joyful side of this season. Sadly, the festivity and emphasis on family time can also be a harsh and glaringly painful time for many because it draws attention to what isn’t. Absent fathers or mothers, a lonely widow or widower or a singleton wondering how many more Christmases they will have to spend alone or tagging alongside others because they have no one else to share it with. I don’t mean to paint a gloomy picture, but it is reality. And staring at this reality,in light of my poorly state got me thinking about what love truly is.
Love isn’t words first and foremost. Sure expressing love for one another is still important but what counts even more is what action follows those words we so easily say to one another. Love is picking up the phone and calling (not WhatsApp ing, texting, IG’ing, Facebooking or Twittering) that friend or family member or loved one to check how they’re really doing. Love is going the extra mile, even at one’s own inconvenience to help the invalid with their groceries or domestic chores. Love is seeking out opportunities to show kindness to someone – even if all you can offer them is a smile or a prayer, something that may mean little to you but mean the world to them in a world where they’ve been shown little to no love. Love is looking after the elderly in your midst, love is helping the homeless escape the bitter cold of winter or treating them with dignity and respect and talking to them so they don’t feel forgotten.
Love is action, the loudest word you can speak. So if Christmas truly is all about generosity of spirit and making merry, then the best thing you can do this Christmas is light up someone else’s world who can’t pay you back cos let’s face it, family members and friends can easily give back what you give them.