Can Christmas good cheer last more than two weeks?

Fiona Pringle
Fiona Pringle

It is most uncommon to start a column asking for forgiveness, but I’m an uncommon gal.

So here goes – forgive me. I like light-hearted, often comical societal observation as much as the next person, but if I am to write a true and accurate representation of ‘my week’, it’s going to get a little honest and maybe a little sad.

I am by no means a grinch...well, not much of a grinch. I can live without the exaggerated mix of carols and consumerism but I do like the blanket of warmth that goodwill spreads across communities at this time. For those without, I can’t begin to imagine how stressful and isolating it must be to feel continually affronted with the sheen of happiness brought on by Christmas, when you yourself feel alone or inept.

The weeks leading up to Christmas, at any local newspaper, fill with stories on a theme and it is one that is both heartwarming and wrenching. They are stories of people who, in their own spare time, often at their own expense, go out of their way to make sure others feel some semblance of joy, during this season where we are disallowed from feeling anything other.

What has struck me most poignantly this year, perhaps heightened by my own personal separation from my significant other, is just how many people are affected, and most touchingly, the number of strangers who are willing to rally and support, from giving time to gifts to love.

I know how genuinely touched serving soldiers are when they receive gifts, Christmas or otherwise, from strangers – knowing someone somewhere has thought of them.

The challenge is how far can we extend it? With decorations now decking the halls from November, can we stretch good cheer out until April?