As the winter draws in and the end of the year beckons towards that magical time of Christmas many will be feeling less than cheerful. Shops soon start to fill with decorations and seasonal goodies while the shop tannoy’s belt out festive hits. Our televisions will be showing endless commercials depicting gatherings of friends and family sitting around a picturesque tree exchanging gifts and pleasantries. White snow will flutter outside and through the window children and families will be shown building snowmen and drinking warm cocoa.
But for many this couldn’t be further from the truth, for lots of people at this time of year it can end up being a very bleak time stemming from all types of reason. Some will have no family or friends to share the moment with. Others will be struggling financially and feeling the weight of burden to keep up with what the big companies suggest we should be buying for our loved ones. 
Christmas is a beautiful time of year and it creates such wonderful memories for so many and in even during these fraught years of unsocial unrest it allows us a day or two to forget everything. Everybody deserves an escape from reality from time to time but its also worth remembering those less fortunate. 
In a day when mental health has never been more prevalent and with huge domestic issues causing continued unrest it can be a very trying time of the year. If we can take a second during the day to think of those less fortunate or even perhaps those in the same boat we may be able to lift the spirits of a few, and if enough of us do it the few will become the many.
It’s easy to close the blinds and forget what’s on the other side but not so easy if you’re the one on the other side of the blinds. With some careful thought we may find we have much more in common with those we see in unfortunate situations and through the smallest gestures we can change somebody’s day. As simple as a smile or a greeting could help lift the spirits of those not feeling so jolly.
If you have a neighbor who is living alone or you see a family struggling, maybe a homeless person sat outside a shop doorway why not spend just a second of your day checking in. You don’t need to give money if you can’t spare any but just letting them know that you have thought about them could change everything for somebody in crisis. 
Don’t allow social differences to continue to divide us, take a step back, look around and remember especially at this time of year what joins us all. The one thing we all share regardless of background, color or creed is humanity. 
What seeks to divide us can ultimately unite us if we simply remember our humanity.

Happy holidays!