It’s that time of year again. The John Lewis Christmas advert has been released and, as usual, it is very sweet. But this year JL has teamed up with Age UK to raise awareness, and hopefully money, for the charity’s aim to alleviate loneliness which can be a real issue for older people. Especially at Christmas time, a time for family and friendship.
Christmas is bitter sweet for me. I love all things Christmassy – the tree, the tinsel, the carols, the food, oh my goodness, the food. I love being with children as it is so magical seeing the awe and wonder through their eyes and remembering how it was in my own childhood. Except we lost my dad a few days after Christmas in 1978, when I was ten. So the shadow of that loss hangs over us but only in the wasteland between Boxing Day and New Year. Christmas itself is usually jolly and it’s the one time we get together as a family and play games.
Christmas is the worst time to be on your own. Or to feel on your own. I am grateful to Dad that he waited until after christmas – I don’t know what that would have cost him. I can only imagine and I try not to dwell on that because it is too heart-breaking. But I do believe that knowing someone is a phone call away with a listening ear and a sympathetic voice, could make all the difference for someone suffering in silence, for whatever reason.
Shoeboxes, community lunches, carol services – these all have a part to play in keeping the black dog at bay. As do charities like the Samaritans and Age UK. Well done, John Lewis for highlighting this.
No one should have no one this Christmas.