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by KERRIE FRIEND

Well here it is, we’ve rolled around to another Christmas. This year, I’m sure like most of you, I’m so happy it’s finally here. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions this year, hasn’t it? I hope you have some “Love Actually moments” of peace and joy this festive season, and you get to celebrate with family and friends – or at the very least have a Zoom of merriment. While it’s not the same as physically being together, it has at least provided us a chance to see each other during this weird time. 

This time of year can be lovely but it can also bring with it memories of times gone by or of family and friends who may no longer be with us. Do yourself and others a favour and be gentle on yourself and others as you move through this time, because we all have different stories and situations that can make this usually happy season challenging and heart-rending. Being cheery while staying considerate is a great combination we can all adopt during the holiday season. 

It’s also important to set some boundaries so you get to enjoy the get-togethers with those you know or those you may not know so well. Let me make a suggestion: “take the high road” and you’ll be far better off than engaging in any chaos or difficult conversations that can erupt during family, friend or work gatherings. Keep to general conversations rather than those that can become fractured like Covid mandates and politics. Holiday get-togethers I believe are for making delightful memories, not for confrontations. 

Another area to be aware of, especially during the festive season when most of us have more time than usual, is the toxic use of too much social media. The “everything’s perfect” world of social media often causes problems for those who might be struggling in some way. Use wisdom to help you stay positive, happy and a blessing to others. Sharing and enjoying memories is great but disregard the social shiny life facade and instead let social media illuminate your life, not depreciate it.

Lastly, Christmas is about love and sharing that love with the people and the community you care about. It’s the perfect time to be thankful we get to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year in one of the most amazing regions in the world. Merry Christmas and happy new year everyone, and may love, peace and joy find their way to your home. 

God bless.

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