Hi, I’m Beth and I’m new to the Emerge team.  I joined in October to work on the project we’re setting up at Epsom Hospital.  I love Christmas and I thought I would just share a few Christmassy thoughts with you…!

So, with Christmas soon approaching and the stockings coming out of hiding, isn’t this the perfect time to be grateful for all the special things and people in our lives?

The Christmas tree whether wide or thin, tall or short. Lights glistening outside and in, tinsel finding itself on every ledge, window, and door frame. Our friends, our family, and probably a Christmas game. 

There’s lots to be grateful for even if we can’t always see it. Think of a few people in your life who you really appreciate, maybe they’ve had a big impact on you, or you just feel better when you’re around them. A little act of kindness can go a long way, so why not channel your inner creativity and do something special to show them how much you value them. This could be as small as a warm hug (for those in your household of course) to designing a personal Christmas card sealed in love. If you wanted to be a bit more adventurous you could head to the shops, pick out some of their favourite things, food or drink, and make a cheeky pit stop at their doorstep to deliver the goods.

Although Christmas is labelled as the joyous festivity of the year, that doesn’t make us immune to having a down day or feeling emotions that don’t reflect the Christmas cheer, and that’s okay too. Family dynamics may be challenging, financial pressure to spend, spend, spend, and not to mention we are certainly living through unprecedented times. It’s important to look after ourselves and be sensitive to our personal needs as well as those around us. Find an activity you love; bake something, listen to your favourite song; I love to light a candle and get all warm and cozy with a lovely hot drink.  

If you can brave the cold, why not dig out your thickest scarf and coat to enjoy a wintery walk, listening to those autumnal leaves crunch on the ground before you. You certainly won’t be alone as the countless number of squirrels scurrying up and down looking for anything to get their little teeth hooked into. There is so much beauty in the creation around us, the freshness of the air will surely bring a chill to your bones, but I find a bit of fresh air can do the mind a world of good too.

As a Christian, I love to remember the “Christ” in Christmas, it is great to spend time with family and have a few days to relax, but there’s a much bigger meaning for me behind this season. This year has been a tough one for many of us, and for me, this makes it the perfect time to reflect on Jesus, and the message of hope that He brings.  No matter what this year may have dealt us, we have the opportunity to finish it stronger than we started… 

We aren’t promised a perfect life with no problems, but for me the message of Christmas is that Jesus came so that we don’t have to walk through things alone.  We are promised that He will stand with us, holding our hands, through every trial and difficulty we may face. I pray that this blog brings you hope for whatever situation you find yourself in, and I do wish you the best Christmas.