The festive season is almost upon us again. We therefore run down our lists of people to whom we must send greeting cards. It is part of the tradition.
But has it not also become a ‘ritual’, lacking in real meaning? If we care about those to whom we send our greetings, why is it that so often a whole 12 months has gone by since the last greeting?
Cards received are dutifully displayed on the mantle or taped onto our walls. If the sender of a received greeting has not already been sent one by us, we sometimes make amends, with a card in the next post. Or is the truth that we do not care that much, but send cards or other forms of message to those distant relations or friends out of a sense of ‘duty’.
Should the festive season not be a period when we do take more time? We could call those who matter to engage in a real conversation, enquiring about their well being, and taking the time to listen to their responses. We could visit them, where geographical separation permits. We could take the time to show other people that they matter to us.
‘But there is so little time during the hectic festive season!’ Of course, there is always a lack of time. However, if we value special others, surely we can make the time. For if we can’t, one may ask: are they really that special? If not, why even bother to send all those cards with their pre-printed messages, quickly signed during an evening, without thought but from a sense of duty?
If you are really in the ‘festive spirit’, try and connect with others. Tell them what you value about them. What could be a better ‘present’ than that? Ask how life has treated them, and listen with unfeigned interest.
The photograph above captures a bit of the ‘spirit’ I’m trying to convey. Be kind to loved ones, and to strangers as well. Make, or renew, some connections!