In Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Christmas Carol, three ghosts representing the past, present and future, visit Ebeneezer Scrooge. This allows Scrooge to take stock and change his behaviour for the better.
Christmas and New Year is traditionally a time for spending time with those we care about. As well as decorations, mince pies and celebrations, for many Christmas and New Year is a time for reflection. Taking the opportunity to share and listen to memories of the past, stories of the present and wishes for the future with our friends and family can be a truly enriching and quite literally the gift that keeps on giving!
Clcik here to take a look at our My Wishes Folder resource for ideas.
Supporting bereaved people at Christmas
Past, present and future Christmas and New Years can shape how we live, age, die and grieve. The festive period can be difficult when you’ve lost someone you love. The ‘first’ and subsequent Christmas’s may cause new and intense feelings of sadness. How can we support each other during the festive period?
Almost half of Britons say they feel uncomfortable talking to someone who has been recently bereaved. Barriers and difficulties are more likely to be pronounced given the stresses and strains associated with Christmas. What do you say to someone recently bereaved? Should you invite them to a party? Should you send a Christmas card and if so, is ‘Merry Christmas’ an appropriate greeting?
A majority of people who had been bereaved say talking about their loss helped them feel better but one in five say they want to talk but could not find anyone to listen, and four in ten say that they tried not to talk about their loss as they didn’t want to upset others. There is no magic formula but as a general rule action is better than inaction. Being there to talk, listen and support can make a big difference. Pop round to see your friend, pick up the phone, email or send that Christmas card.
If you are struggling with what to write on a card to someone recently bereaved or, indeed, wondering whether it’s appropriate to send a card at all, inspired Goodbyes have produced a range of cards that could be just what you’re looking for. Click here to find out more.
Perfect Christmas gift
This year has been a year to remember for me. In early May, I got married on a surprisingly sunny spring day in the beautiful Lake District. A month after our wedding followed the news that we’re expecting our first baby in the New Year; so much to look forward to!
2015 will also be remembered as the year I joined the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Public Health team; little did I know how positively this change would impact my personal life. I passionately believe in the work we do as a team and the message we spread of normalising talking about death, dying and loss. This has been fully infused into my home life and the way we are as a family has changed as a result. The subject is no longer ignored and kept to one side like an unwanted Christmas present that has been left to gather dust in the corner. Now we openly discuss end of life issues and do so with the right amount of sincerity and humour. My family’s new found attitude towards such discussions has shaped the gifts they’ll receive from my wife and me this year.
After trawling the Internet for hours on end trying to find that perfect gift that tells our loved ones just how much they mean to us (without spending too much!), we came across the ideal present – a ‘My Wishes’ style tome entitled ‘Journals of a Lifetime’ produced by From You to Me Limited. These books are a brilliant way for parents, grandparents and even siblings to write about their own life and provide, in this case, my wife, new baby and me an insight and understanding into their lives and memories that will last a lifetime. The thought of reading my grandparents’ story with my own child or grandchild in the future is one that fills me with joy. I’m sure they will feel the same. Writing down achievements, experiences and hobbies is a great way to leave a lasting legacy for your family and friends and I fully intend to benefit from hearing my own family’s story.
Click here to find out more.
Public Health and Wellbeing Worker