It’s that Christmassy time of year…. (sigh) …yep it sure is! That time of year that is so over the top, so overindulgent, so overstressed, so overbudget, so overcomplicated and so hard not to be over IT!!! …. And this comment, coming from someone who is ordinarily beside themselves waiting for the 1 st of December to roll round, so they can ‘legally’ put up their Christmas tree and deck the halls with bells, lights and holly!!

Yes, I start every December cranking the Christmas tunes, breaking out extraordinary amounts of wee sweet treats and have a definite childlike excitement at the fabulous magical wonderment and possibilities of it all!! Such happiness, such kindness, such effervescent joy filled beliefs that even world peace is imaginable!

Two weeks in to the festive merry go round and I can’t wait for it to all be here and done already …my adult self has truly kicked in and I find myself empathizing yet again with every Mother gone by that has to deal with all the expected selfless preparation, time, energy, expense and STRESS that goes in to having a perfect jolly good Christmas time of it!

Let’s not forget people, what the big C is supposed to be about AND that it is all just for one day! It is so easy to lose sight of the core fundamentals that the Christmas season is about; kindness, caring, love, thinking of others, doing for others, making the world a better, shinier, happier place. No thoughtful gesture is too small and no miracle to big.

While Christmas can be a truly beautiful thing, many are facing their first Christmas with the absence of a loved one who has passed during the year or a family break up or break down and encounter a true test at being able to put differences aside and put their children and values first. There is some very real and very genuine hardship out there…. yes, in our community as much as any other.

Queenstowners are by no means exempt from the stresses and strains that are amplified at this time of year and with the truly challenging economic tensions changing the face of our community, some very real, very sobering negative statistics are being intensified. We are not an idyllic lifestyle bubble that has somehow been pardoned from all the human problems experienced ‘elsewhere’…wherever you get people, you get all those hard to swallow statistics that appear anywhere else, family violence, mental health issues, alcohol and drug abuse to name but a few.

Let’s try and take a step back and make the time to smell the tinsel. Breathe and believe. Breathe and reflect. Breathe and do what you need to do to get back to what is most truly important in your world. Everything else will come together and if it doesn’t, that is okay too, let it be and let it go.

Give others a thought, keep an eye out, an ear peeled, a hand stretched out and a shoulder ready… to help anyone …and be someone’s twinkling fairy lights when their skies are grey.

So let your Christmas be bright for the right reasons and as for sweating the small stuff, take a leaf from the jolly big red man and have yourself a good ol belly aching, side splitting laugh, ho, ho ho, merry Christmas everyone!!