I was 19 before I enjoyed my first Christmas without arguing, or fighting, or shouting, or visits to a hospital. I can remember vividly opening presents at my fiancé’s aunty’s house in East Ham and being totally overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by the generosity, the kindness, and the genuine closeness in the family. Overwhelmed by the joy in watching other people open their presents. Overwhelmed by a desire to ensure that other people were happy.
There were no unwelcome visits from the police asking my dad to go with them to stop my brother jumping off of a bridge. There were no bottles thrown by my big sister, and then flying through the air smashing through the windows. There were no arguments over who was going to do any of the chores. Many of my childhood Christmases involved visits to my mother in a hospital. There was also one Christmas where my mother was in one hospital with kidney problems, whilst my father was in another hospital having his foot amputated – not everyone’s idea of a great Christmas.
So, why am I telling you all this? I am definitely not looking for your sympathy, my life has turned out better than I ever imagined it would. The reason I am telling you is to remind you that not everyone will have such a happy Christmas this year. In fact, for many this will be their worst time of year. You might know someone like this, and you might just be the person who could do something about it and make their Christmas just that little bit brighter.