For many, the festive season is a time of excitement, anticipation, and winding down after a long year of work.

 

It’s a time for fun-filled catch-ups with friends, family and loved ones, lots of eating and drinking, and if you’re lucky maybe a getaway to somewhere a little more relaxing.

 

As we move into the festive season at a rapid pace, we urge you to think of those who may not have the same outlook on the festive season.

The other side of the festive season

For as much as the festive season can be a joyous occasion, if you are someone who has recently lost a loved one, ended a relationship or are enduring financial hardship, the festive season can be a rollercoaster of emotions, financial stress and the hardest time of the year.

 

Leading up to Christmas, many people find themselves excited about catching up with those they haven’t seen for a while, but what might it be like for someone who is dreading Christmas because their loved ones won’t be there?

 

Even harder still for those people is seeing everyone around them smiling and happy while they’re struggling, and the expectation that they should be happy and having a great time too.

 

So, what can you do?

 

It can be hard to start that conversation or reach out to someone you feel might be struggling this festive season.

 

But it just takes a minute out of your day to see how the person next to you is doing; to ask what their plans are for the season, and maybe even just to listen to how they are feeling.

 

For those who are struggling, receiving this gesture of kindness can be enough to shift their perspective on the season, and realise that there is light at the end of the tunnel for them and brighter times ahead.

 

For those looking forward to a happy festive season, a minute of your time can change someone’s life, help relieve some stress and the expectation to be happy and bubbly at this time of the year.

 

So, take a moment this holiday season to think about those who might be struggling at this time of year, and realise that the greatest gift you could give is a moment of your time, even if it’s just to show that you care.

 

Gifts are not about the money spent on them, they’re about the gesture of giving to show love and care, and that has the power to change lives.