Keep the above quote in the back of your mind until you finish reading okay? It’s part of my punchline!
For me, Christmas is the most exciting time of the year. I can hardly wait until the 1st of December (ok fine, late November!) to put the tree up and hang the fairy lights. I start my shopping months before Christmas just because I love dragging out the festive feeling. I listen to Christmas carols while wrapping presents and as I sit in my lounge room every night looking at the lit up tree, I can’t help but feel overwhelming love and thankfulness for my family and friends.
Christmas is a time fuelled by sentiment – it’s meaningful, it’s happy, it’s optimistic. The holiday season is about giving, sharing, celebrating and loving (but heaven forbid our loved ones to expect us to say the same things in person as we do in a card!).
Every year however, I can’t help but think of those who don’t feel the same way about Christmas as me. For some people, it’s sad, or stressful, or lonely. Some have lost loved ones recently, or the memory of long lost loved ones detracts from the festivities. Some are struggling financially and the pressure to buy gifts and nice food with all the trimmings is just too much. Some are battling with an illness themselves or of a loved one. Some have family who are away or live elsewhere. Some are segregated from their families simply because of who they are (you know, that one, the black sheep) or because family conflicts haven’t been resolved in time, or never will be. Hek, some mums are just so exhausted by the end of the year because they’ve been doing everything for others and not for themselves (even though it’s bikini season and those legs are in need of shaving!). And hey, let’s not forget about our teeny boppers who worked their arses off all year to get into their desired university course, but have fallen short with their exam marks (or done nothing, but hoped for 99.5 nonetheless…).
This Christmas, I encourage everyone to not just spare a thought, but to actually do something for someone that you know that needs it (that’s right, I’m not just talking about donating to a charity because the Salvos guys are at the pub with a bucket). It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time; it’s just about showing that someone that you care. For those struggling for ideas, I have just the thing!
Your mission is to prepare a meal for someone that has a special touch…
- Set yourself a budget
- Decide what you’re going to make (or what you’re going to buy and claim that you made) – whether it’s lobster or a Vegemite sandwich, it doesn’t matter!
- Apply a personal touch like some handpicked flowers in a vase (I’m not condoning “stealing” but if you don’t have flowers and your neighbour has lots……) or a balloon tied to the meal, or a tea light candle on the serving tray, or even your favourite photo of the two of you if you have one.
- Deliver the meal in person, tell that person that they’ve been on your mind and wish them a merry Christmas.
Before entering the family business, I was a Social Worker working with children in foster care (the job that gives you a bigger heart but more grey hairs). I have a good friend who used to leave single tea bags on my desk with a post-it note on them – sometimes just with a smiley face drawn on it, sometimes with a short message. What cost sometimes only a few cents for my friend gave me something priceless – that single tea bag told me that I was thought of, loved and cared for. Now that my friends, is the sentiment that you can leave someone with this Christmas that will last well beyond Christmas Day and the New Years celebrations that follow.
Here at L & M Gold Star, we’re about more than kitchen appliances – we have a passion for cooking and believe that food brings family and friends together in a way that other things can’t. Always remember that “food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” – that one simple meal you prepare with thought for someone may mean the world to them. Whoever said that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach was only half-right – it’s the way to everyone’s heart! (think how much males and females alike love the taxi driver who takes them through Drive Thru on the way home from the pub).
Merry Christmas all… May it be the best one yet!