In the run up to Christmas - or Yule - most of us will be frantically preparing: organising feasts for our families, buying gifts and even going away on a winter holiday.
Image from www.germany-tourism.de
Mum and I are making a trip to the Christmas Markets in Hamburg this year in the few days before the holiday and I am sure we will spend our time there buying presents to bring home, enjoying steaming mugs of hot-chocolate and 'gluhwein' and sampling local delicacies. I am so excited - I absolutely cannot wait!
For me, Christmas is a time of year to celebrate with family and loved ones. Whatever your religious beliefs or faith, I think that is important. It is so dark outside that we need to symbolically let the light back in - be that through a warm Yule fire, or candlelight; through the glittering baubles and tinsel on a Christmas tree; or, most importantly, through the love and laughter we share together.
As we lead up to this special time of year, I am also mindful of those less fortunate who may not be able to spend it with family; may not be given any gifts and may be struggling through the most trying of circumstances. At school we are currently encouraging our kids to take part in the 'Operation Christmas Child' campaign, run by the Samaritan's Purse international relief charity. They make up a shoe-box of little gifts to be sent to a child somewhere in the world who would, otherwise, have nothing to open on Christmas Day.
Images from www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk
There are 'drop-off' points all over the UK, as you can see here and they are open until Thursday 18th November. A fantastic way to encourage little ones to think of others less fortunate than themselves and have fun creating a gift for someone else.