Things that make us happy.
This time of year, much is written about the joys of Christmas. It is a great time of year for many people, and rightly so. There is much to celebrate and be thankful for. But here, I wish to say a little about those people for whom it is not such a great time - the homeless, the lonely, the bereaved.
I always 'buy' a gift of charity for the family. Sometimes we support 'Crisis', sometimes another worthy cause. It is always a special moment. Amongst the cheers and jeers of the gift opening, the kids, my wife and I go quiet for just a moment as we open the envelope explaining what our money has gone towards. One fewer gift for us, but, amongst so much, we lose nothing.
On another note, may I commend to you the Charlie Waller Trust
In their words, 'We are one of the UK’s most respected mental health charities, founded by the family of Charlie Waller who took his own life in 1997 whilst suffering from depression.'
They have created an 'Advent of Kindness' in two forms, one for adults
and one for children
. Twenty-five acts of kindness to help live the message of Christmas.
I pass this on in light of a brief conversation I had with Mr Duncan, Deputy Head and Second Master, recently about a book he had read. "Connections, Mr Shroff, that's the key to happiness. A lot of today's ills are because people don't feel they belong."
I couldn't agree more. And one of the best ways to connect is by acts of kindness, sharing and inclusion. It's good for them, good for you, good for everyone!
As always, this festive season I will look for calm amongst all the coming and going and drinking and eating:
A quiet winter forest walk on a chilly morning, with nothing but the rustle of leaves and crunch of the frost under our feet.
A still 10 minutes looking down from the top of a hill.
A magic moment as the sun sets and casts the sky in bronze and gold.
And I will be thankful for what I have.
This year has taught me to really live the special moments. Christmas is a special moment, and one to be enjoyed in whatever ways you can. Treasure and measure slowly the love and cheer that you have.
Director of Wellbeing