Sunnyside Up


Well it’s that time of year again, it’s Christmas! It conjures up images of festive cheer, goodwill, snow falling and families all having fun being together……..

So why as I walk through my local shopping centre after a bottle or two of wine (feeling quite festive within myself and full of ‘good spirit’) all I see is; couples arguing, families falling out, lines of people all with fed up faces waiting to pay, shopping trolleys piled high with food and worried faces wondering how they are going to pay for all the extravagance. I see one of these things in almost every face that passes me in the shopping centre.


Is Christmas really about the presents, the food and the extravagance? Is it about all the commercial aspects that are forced upon us by our television sets, our newspapers and our constant desire to ‘keep up with the joneses?

Not to me. I enjoy opening the presents on Christmas morning; yes I enjoy a nice dinner with a few glasses of wine. But really Chocolates and socks are fine for me and even if I just had a microwave meal, I would be happy. What I think is really important about Christmas is the people, your family, those around you, those you love and the happy smiles that greet you at every door Christmas morning.

A pair of socks and a 5-minute meal out of a box would be amazing - if it was shared with those closest to me. Having loved ones and special people close is what’s good about Christmas.

But not everyone has the pleasure of someone special around them, sadly, I was sitting in Costa Coffee the other day, enjoying a pot of Tea (strangely enough) and outside in the freezing cold was a chap trying to sell the big issue, now for those of you that don’t know this is a newspaper sold by the homeless. With a big smile and a Merry Christmas he greeted everyone that headed past him and the thing that really struck me was that in the 45 minutes I was there, he did not sell a single paper, hardly anyone wished him a Happy Christmas back, in fact most people put their faces down and hurried past too busy thinking about the shopping they still had to get or too worried about parting with their hard earned cash to spare this chap £2.50 or even a smile and good wishes.

In forty-five minutes no one had really even spoken to this guy.

Now imagine its 4 days to Christmas, your standing in the cold trying to earn a few pounds rather than beg for it and no one will even spend a few moments chatting and wishing you well, not only that but you really have nowhere to go once you have finished – how would you feel, not very festive or even in the Spirit of Christmas.

This man had no one and no one to even speak with through his day I had to go over and say hello, we ended up having another pot of tea and we spoke all about his varied and interesting past, as I left he smiled and said thanks. That to me meant more than anything, that to me, that smile and thanks is something that I won’t forget and I knew that he meant as he said it.

That man had no one, no one to share Christmas with, no one to give him socks or deodorant, no one to even pull a cracker with and that something that we should all give thanks for.

Now I am one of the lucky one I guess, I am spending the day with my wife and children, someone to share with, someone to enjoy a glass of wine with and someone to laugh with and see smile. Although my immediate family are all hundreds of miles away drinking white wine in the sun I know that inside they are with me and I am with them and that is something that this homeless man didn’t have – someone special close by or even a group of people far away, people deep inside, people that no matter what happens will be there for you, people whose love is unconditional and people who care - that for me is what Christmas is all about, remembering those people, making them all smile and knowing that they care, being there is they need you or you need them. 

That is really all that’s important at Christmas, so if you like me are one of the lucky ones and have special people in your life to share with be it close by or far away, take a moment to think about those who don’t, take a moment to say hello to those guys who have no one to speak to all day long, take a minute to speak to someone who doesn’t even get a hello in their day.

So don’t worry about getting the latest present, the must have gadget, don’t worry if your turkey is not the same size as your neighbours and don’t get upset if you are struggling to afford those ‘must have’ things, they are not important - make someone smile, make someone’s day – however you do it doesn’t matter, just make that difference to someone, even if it is just for one day.

However there is no need to keep this to Christmas time, make it a New Year resolution to make others smile whenever possible and this can only lead to you not only making others feel better but also feeling better yourself and really making the most and appreciating those around you.

And remember, even if things don’t go exactly to plan this Christmas (and bear in mind that they rarely do) – don’t look at how things are turning out for others and be jealous or upset, remember this; things tend to turn out the best for those who make the best of how things turn out.

Hope that you all have an amazing Christmas and all your festive wishes turn out the way you hoped.

Love Always