Christmas is a time when families come together. Unfortunately, from my experience as a solicitor this does not necessary mean they stay together in January. There might be an expectation that your Christmas day should be the cosy, harmonious tableau we see in the Christmas adverts, whereas in fact, it can be a time of conflict with bubbling tensions rising to the surface.
Christmas is about giving not receiving
Relationships are about give and take. Too often you find one person doing all the giving and the other doing all the taking. Relationships work best when both parties are focused on what they can give to the other. Take time this Christmas to really think about what the other person wants and needs from you rather than resenting that you are not getting what you want. If you focus on the giving, the other person is going to be more likely to give back.
Christmas is about forgiveness
Too often families are torn apart by a fallout that never heals. Siblings can fall out after the death of a parent. Spouses are hurt by a breach of trust. Too often, it feels too painful or difficult to talk about, but then each person then becomes even more entrenched in their own perception of what happened, not understanding the situation from the other person’s point of view. Then at Christmas time you really feel the contrast between what you would want your family to be like and what it actually is like. Communication is at the heart of every single human relationship. Stop communicating and it is only a matter of time before the love drains out of the relationship. There is no point thinking it has to be the other person who takes the first step. Say what is on your mind, be prepared to listen. Let go of what is not important and hang on to what is important to make your relationship work.
Christmas is about love
Love is not just about how you feel. We all want that warm snuggly feeling that the John Lewis advert aims to give us, but true love perseveres despite how you feel. Feelings can change day to day, even minute to minute with a harsh word. Work on acting lovingly and loving feelings will follow.
The Christmas message
Christmas is about giving not receiving – God gave his Son to us in the form of a baby.
Christmas is about forgiveness – He gave His Son so that in the end, at Easter, we would be forgiven and the relationship between us and God healed.
Christmas is about love – God is love.
At Christmas time, I remind myself of these essential principles and build my relationships with others upon them.
I wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas and New Year and hope that you will come together and stay together.