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If I were to ask each and every one of you, what Christmas means to you, I’d probably have an endless list of emotions, associations, memories. It is funny how a single day can evoke so many different reactions. I suppose it comes from having certain expectations. We need to feel something different at this time of year, right? There needs to be something, something more. Whether it’s decorations, food, gifts (oh so many gifts – and the list gets longer every year!), parties. Yes, it’s a time of plenty. But we ask you, plenty of what? Just expectations?
We expect everyone to be happy at this time of year (unless a negative experience marred this time forever). And yet, what do we give in turn, to make it so? Very often we forget the most fundumental aspect we celebrate. We celebrate love – and that’s it. If you believe in God, you celebrate His Son’s coming into this world and if you don’t, you celebrate the act of sharing, of coming together to end the year on a good note. You celebrate the act of giving. But here’s another question; giving what? That’s where love comes in, not just during this time of plenty, but every day.
Giving TIME. The most precious thing in the world. When you give time, you dedicate and give a part of yourself for someone else. You will never get it back, which is what makes it so incredibly valuable. And that says much more than fluffly Christmas socks you bought for €2. Give time to what matters, without remorse.
Giving PRAISE. How quickly we scold, and yet how hesitantly we give praise. Let us be freer to give credit where it is due. You can brighten up someone’s day with just one word.
Giving ATTENTION. Sometimes we’re tired and we swat people away like they were flies. Sometimes we don’t even realise we’re doing it. Let’s be more mindful of the people around us and focus more on the conversations we have. It is after all, the act of listening and empathising that makes us different from every other living creature on this planet.
Giving JOY. And no, we don’t mean plastering a fake smile and singing Christmas carols for all to hear and be merry. We mean making someone else happy, whether by helping out, by sharing the good (and not only the bad) or just by being there. Sometimes, it takes so little to make someone else extremely happy.
This Christmas, don’t just give presents. They look nice under the Christmas tree but they will not last and can never represent how you truly feel about anyone. The memory however, of having listened, of being there, of giving attention when it was sorely needed – that will last forever.
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year. Share the love, on this day and always.
The team at SVEA x
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