This time of the year generally makes one feel festive and happy. Of course there is the tiredness and the nervousness that you won’t do everything on time-cooking, present buying and wrapping, sending cards, putting up and decorating the Christmas tree and keeping men and children happy and the exhaustion of fulfilling all of those tasks often leads us to come down with colds and flu at the time we all are supposed to relax.
A lot also depends on the people around us, as we all rushed and more annoyed than usual. The snow hasn’t helped either. I also think that for whatever reason people are putting less effort in –I was walking my dog the other evening and even thought I live in a nice area there weren’t too many decorations in the windows or wreaths on the doors. I normally receive lots of xmas cards (and also send lots too!) but this year my mantelpiece is much sparser than last year-and no, I don’t take it personally but I guess it’s the sign of the times. For me writing the cards to friends and family is important, to find the time, sit down and write a few wishes. It is personal for me, it is a nice way to say goodbye to one year and move into a new one. Less and less people find the time to do it, which is a great shame…..
Delivery companies are another story. Some, like Kelly Bronze are speedy, courteous and not only my turkey arrived bigger than I ordered ‘because the turkeys grew well this year’ but also enclosed were cooking instructions, a beautiful turkey cookery book and a temperature tester. My relationship with City Link is, on another hand, fraught with frustration almost every time they are due to make an Amazon delivery they fail to deliver. Excuses always vary-you were out (I wasn’t!), we left a card (nowhere to be found), we couldn’t get in –the list goes on. When the service provided is good, one tends to use the company again and again but not many take that on board.
But I don’t want to end on a sad note. A couple of weeks ago I was doing grocery shopping at Sainsbury’s, going from isle to isle, trying not to forget the things on my list. For some reason I kept on running into an elderly gentleman, who was dressed up in slightly worn clothes, a red scarf and a handsome cap on top of his silver grey hair that made his ‘look’ complete. He was limping and I made sure he had enough room to pass through the isle. We smiled at each other and continued with our shopping. When I was done and came to the till to unpack the lovely gentleman was ahead of me. He was packing up his shopping, but all of a sudden he looked at me and asked if I had a loyalty card. I stammered, asked why he wanted to know and finally meekly said that I did. He grouchily chided me for asking too many questions and then asked for my card. It turns out that he didn’t have his own loyalty card and wanted to give the points he would have had for his food to me. He smiled and wished me a Merry Christmas. I was stunned, a little embarrassed but also filled with a happy spirit. Gestures of kindness or attention often catch us off guard but they touch you and make life more special, especially in the run up for Christmas. I hope next year we all will be kinder to each other.