Merry Christmas everyone! But who have you forgotten about?
At this time of year, society says we should all have money spent on expensive gifts and enjoy fabulous, fun, memory producing times. This is usually over home cooked, sumptuous food in abundance, surrounded by never-ending goodwill, and huge numbers of loving family and friends.
Scratch a little deeper and you’ll also find people with no spare cash, charity hampers for basic food, and if they’re lucky maybe one ‘not quite what they wanted’ gift for each child. No friends, no family, no support – lonely adults often spending every precious moment and dollar on their kids.
Spare a thought for someone you may know that has slipped through the cracks, and is especially lonely at this time of year. People with good hearts trying to provide for often vulnerable kids, never thinking of themselves.
They’ve become experts at appearing OK at first glance. They’re not though.
Stop, and look deeper.
Think if you know someone like this. They probably have some times of utter despair and loneliness, particularly when they don’t have custody of their kids, even for just a while. Adult company becomes a semi-forgotten old dream.
They fight a constant battle to appear more than poor, often with outstanding results for them and their kids. The image of relative wealth is maintained for as long as they are able. What do they go without? A lot. The kids usually come first, so they still participate in their educational and social activities. Even young kids face peer pressure.
On a much, much smaller income, there are telltale signs. The same clothes being worn all the time. No eating out. Using the car less and less. Getting a cheaper car. Withdrawing from social engagements. School lunches are never bought. School uniforms look dirty, worn, and too small. There are many clues if you dare to take more than your usual passing glance.
If you know someone like this, please spare a moment of your busy festivities for these souls in pain, desperate for human contact, ashamed of their ‘real’ situation, too proud to ask for your help and company. Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving and sharing, but I wonder how often this extends outside of people’s four walls.
Reach out, give your time, understanding and love.
You know what though? The children will be so excited! They’ll still have a beautiful time together, and precious memories will be created. Regardless.
Merry Christmas. What does it mean for you? Have you looked in on someone?