Christmas is here! And what a wonderful time of the year it is, a time to decorate and celebrate! A time to create delicious food, and spoil those you love most with quality time, and beautiful gifts. For some though, it isn’t a wonderful time. It can be a season of sadness, or can be a season of stress.
When working at Lifeline WA I learnt that there is a significant rise in calls to their helpline during the Christmas season. My heart went out to those beautiful people who find Christmas a difficult season. A time where levels of anxiety, depression ands suicide increases. Thankfully my role was to coordinate and manage the Lights for Lifeline campaign (now known as Shine a Light for Life campaign) which is an annual campaign held at Christmas to raise awareness, and much needed funds for Lifeline WA. I was so pleased that I could assist in raising financial support to help train new Telephone Crisis Support Volunteers who provide crisis support and assist withsuicide prevention.
Maybe you are reading this and the thought of Christmas being a tough season really resonates with you. I’d like to encourage you, and let you know that you are not alone. There are others that find this season difficult. Support is there for you. You can call Lifeline WA at anytime and talk to someone. No-one needs to face their problems alone. Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Maybe you are reading this and want to help those that are finding this season difficult. You can get involved and shine a light for life by dedicating your Christmas tree, and making a donation via Lifeline WA’s website. Your donation will go a long way in saving lives. If you have a business and would like to sponsor this great initiative, there is a proposal on Lifeline WA’s website, alternatively you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
I really believe Christmas is an important occasion in the year because its a time when we can get together with family and friends and reflect on all our blessings. I do understand that it may become overwhelming with everything there is to organise. Here are a few practical tips to keep the season joyful for you and your little ones:
- focus on what is important; for me what is important is that I spend time with those I love most, so we are hosting our family at our home in the morning, and then spending time with our other family in the afternoon. I understand it may be difficult, however I’d like to encourage you to try your best to avoid family conflicts and call a truce on unresolved problems. Forgiveness frees us to live in the present.
- let go of the perfect Christmas; and embrace that Christmas could get messy. There will be people involved, and little ones at that, and as I’m sure you know things don’t always go according to plan. I encourage you to let go of the “perfect”, and lower your expectations.
- organise your time; you don’t need to start thinking about Christmas in July, however if you can start planning at least a couple of weeks ahead, and create a list of what you want to achieve, it will make your life a little easier. Shopping online can minimise your time in crowded shops.
- try your best to avoid credit card debt; you may want to splash out and show your loved one how much you care, but it can really add up. I encourage you to set a budget, and decide what you can afford.
- be positive; and be kind to yourself. Having a positive attitude is contagious, it will shift your perspective should problems arise. I highly recommend squeezing in a break. I understand that finding time for you during this season, may seem impossible. But if you can, you will find that you will relax, and with a relaxed parent comes little ones that are relaxed and enjoy life.
I really do hope this has helped you in some way, as my heart is to see people find the joy in the everyday and celebrate life with a grateful heart. We hope you enjoyed the photos of Anthony and I as little ones at Christmas, and most importantly have a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy this special time of the year with your little ones.