And so here we are again, the festive season; and, earlier than ever, it seems, making the season longer than ever. Which is fantastic, of course, if you happen to like the whole Christmas/New Year thing; but for those of us who struggle, it stretches out the pain still further.

If the holiday makes us feel lonely, abandoned or betrayed; gives us an accentuated sense of being excluded, or not quite being a part of it all; if it piles on yet more money worries; or highlights our feelings of inadequacy because yet another year has gone by, and those resolutions fell by the wayside yet again, and goals were, again, not achieved…well then it can be a rather miserable month or so, can’t it?

How, then, to turn it around? How to take off the financial pressure, feel good about yourself, and really be a part of things?

Going back to basics, and living the Christmas values of hope, generosity of spirit, and love by focusing outward, helping those who need it more than we do, can be invaluable. Receiving others’ gratitude can be the best of feelings. There’s little more rewarding and fun than giving joy to those who would otherwise be miserable. And, wow, does it make us feel good about ourselves?! And, what a great sense of connection, when we know we’ve made a difference to someone else’s life.

So, here’s our opportunity, whether the festive season is usually our favourite or our worst time of year, to make it our best one yet by nurturing the joy in those less fortunate than us.

Best wishes