At this time of year we begin to wish each other Happy Christmas . And maybe we start to dream of a Happy Christmas. The family gathered round the Christmas tree, Christmas carols , children excitedly opening their presents, a wonderful family meal together. A glass or two of something convivial, partying with friends. But all to easily it ends up instead with the kids arguing with their brothers and sisters, stressed out parents, feeling fat and bloated and wishing you hadn’t had that last mince pie or last drink – and a nasty credit card bill a month later !
And for some it ends up being a lonely time, or one tainted with sad memories made pore poignant as you are meant to be happy!
So here’s my recipe for a happy Christmas.
Focus on Giving
Research has found that doing kind deeds for others not only boosts your mood temporarily, but also leads to long-lasting happiness, as well as making other people feel good, too Spend a bit less! - Don’t overspend on presents food or drink! Treat yourself and others but don’t go overboard. Try to make Christmas a time for giving and not just “present swapping” . Have a generous heart – it’s a happy heart .
Focus on Gratitude
You probably remember having to write thank-you letters to friends and relatives who gave you presents. We do it less as adults but expressing your gratitude for something or someone, whether verbally or in writing, is one of the simplest but most effective ways of increasing your happiness So if you want a tried-and-tested method to increase your happiness, start counting those blessings.
Focus on God
People who practice their Faith are shown in surveys to be the happiest people. So don’t skip that Christmas service. If you have kids bring them along to one of our two Christingle service on Christmas eve at 3.00 pm or 5.00 pm. (note changed time – we now need two services to get everyone in) or Christmas family communion at 10.00 am on Christmas morning where the children get to show their presents.
Or for a more adult focussed approach you may p[refer our Christmas Carol Service on 18th Dec at 6.00 pm or Midnight Communion starting at 11.30 pm, or said prayer book service at 8.00 pm.
Hope yours is a very happy Christmas!
Rev Mark Smith