John Halewood-Dodd column

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

As is traditional at this time of year I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers, and indeed anybody who knows me, a very Merry Christmas.

This year I have reflected, more than ever, on what Christmas is all about. I’m obviously aware that in religious terms it is a celebration of the birth of Christ, but it seems to me that very few give much thought to that these days.

Apart from very young children performing a nativity play, or the odd carol interrupting Wham, Wizard and Slade on the radio, most of us have very few religious elements to our Christmas.

I don’t profess to be overly religious, but I do find it sad that Christmas now seems to be so much more commercial.

From as early as September shops are selling items specifically geared towards Christmas, and the majority of us go along with it by spending a fortune on this year’s must haves.

For me, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend, but is much more about being with those to whom we are close. Be that family, friends, or indeed both, and ensuring that we enjoy ourselves.

Christmas really should be a joyous time and we should all endeavour to try and enrich the lives of others at this time of year more than any other.

Even though the religious element may have wained I do believe that there is such a thing as Christmas spirit. A time when we all try and get along better with each other.

We send cards to people that we may not have had any contact with for 12 months. We wish virtual strangers “all the best.” We shake hands with those we meet, and after the odd glass of sherry may even kiss those who ordinarily we might struggle to give the time of day.

These gestures, for both the giver and recipient, make us feel good, and that in itself is something to celebrate.

The point I’m trying to make is that, the Christmas cards apart, these things don’t cost anything financially, yet making others feel good is invaluable.

That’s what I’m hoping to do this year, so with that in mind a Merry Christmas to you all.