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It’s that time of the year again, a time that affects many of us, in some way. Some people love it, some dread it but for others it is just another day. So, what does Christmas offer us? What does it mean for you?


From getting caught up in the hype and frenzy of pre-Christmas activity, the packed shopping malls, the emotions which can arise with family expectations at this time, to watching the joy on children’s faces as they experience the magic of Christmas, the Christmas lights and parades and the excitement as they await a visit from Santa.


Regardless of its religious significance, Christmas for most is about connecting to others in one form or another. This may be through celebrating with family and friends, sending a card to let somebody know how much they mean to you, gifting a present to someone with deep thought and care, or visiting a neighbour who is living on their own.


Christmas day, a day of the year which can simply be about people coming together, seems to have been commercially hijacked and for many it has become a time of stress, loneliness and increasing financial pressures.


But is this what Christmas is really about and what are we actually celebrating? Is it possible Christmas is so much more than this?


For many, Christmas has lost its religious significance and the focus has become about presents, food, completion of our years work and a good long holiday. Have we added complication to something that can be rather simple?


Coming together and sharing a meal is not about the food, but who we share it with and the quality of our conversation and connections. Giving a present can be a way to express love and show you care, but these feelings can equally be expressed without a present.


Christmas time offers us a moment to pause, to have some time off work, reflect on the year that has been, consolidate and be with each other – be it family, friends or our wider community. It is a time where we can open our hearts and doors to many, embracing all in our communities equally so.


Could it be that Christmas day does not need to be a climactic point of focus in our year but rather a marker of how we can live and express on the other 364 days?

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