Indeed, we are at that time of year again. Politicians who have been squabbling all year pretend that all is well and we are at peace with the world. It’s a hope more than anything.
It can be a hectic time of year though and just as it is easy to be caught up in the politics of Brexit, we also get caught up in the business of Christmas. For some sadly that is what it has become. Families getting into debt to buy presents due to endless social pressures and expectations from others, advertisements beamed into our TV and though social media telling us to spend, spend, spend. I saw something online the other day which said the best gift we can give our loved ones this year, is our time.
Never a truer word said.
The beauty of the Christmas season is that it reminds us of all the beauty in life that we take for granted: our family, our health, our friends, and our faith. And where one or more of those elements are missing, we tend to mourn them. Compounded by the fact that everyone else seems so joyous, when so many aren’t.
So as we sit down to our turkeys, stuffing and potatoes, I think of the Ayrshire farmer who has worked hard to grow produce, the person behind the supermarket checkout who smiled at us as we stuffed our trolleys with food and drink, and the next door neighbour who lives alone and perhaps the only person they will hear from that day is listening to the Queens speech. If you have a moment, pop in and see that person who you think might just be on his or her own this year.
This past year has undeniably been full of division and discontent, I do not deny that. We all have had our own part to play in that in that if I were to be quite honest with you. Although healthy disagreement is a necessary part of life, we should remember that underneath it all, as a society have much more in common that the things that bitterly divide us. When you strip away the party political messages, memes, and argy bargy, we are all people – with families, lives, ambitions, hopes and desires.
So I truly wish everyone reading this a Merry Christmas. For those of all faiths, and those of none, my hope is that on that one day of the year, at the very least, we can forget the ugliness of public discourse and think of the goodwill that also exists between us.