During the summer we blogged about how building your own village can extend your life. We ran several events as well and had some wonderful conversations about how to do this and how to make good connections. A reminder of Halina’s thoughts on the subject here.
Never is this idea of building a great village more important than in the Christmas and Holiday season. There is still time to introduce yourself to the neighbours, the people who you buy from (your suppliers or the smiling coffee shop assistant), the person queuing with you at the bus stop – and ask them how are they spending the holiday season. It may be that you find they are spending the time alone, their children and/or parents in other towns or other countries, perhaps their friends are also away, perhaps they simply have no-one.
Such people might welcome some contact over the holidays, a phone call, a visit, a small gesture that they are not on their own, that someone is thinking of them. And of course, so might you.
Research by BBC on loneliness shows that the most lonely people are youngsters (who may have internet friends but no actual close friends) closely followed by the elders, who may be out of the habit of making new connections or have challenges with mobility. Building a little Christmas village to include people who are likely to be alone need not be a big task – whether it is a simple smile, a small gift offered, an invitation to join you in your home, it will make a difference.
Last year’s Age UK campaign put it very neatly ‘ No-one should have no-one‘
So this season, before the holidays
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Identify people who might benefit from some contact over the holidays
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Make an effort to get their details
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Think of ways of contacting or visiting them, or what your gestures to include them in your Christmas village will be.
If it’s you who are on your own – and you don’t want to be, plan ahead….
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Decide when you don’t want to be on your own
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Talk to those around you and in your community who you might want to spend time with over the holidays
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Think about inviting them to join you for a coffee at a cafe or at your home if that works for you
[i type=”icon-ok” color=”icon-blue” bg=””]Find someone to connect with by phone or Skype or email
If you do all this in advance, then you can capitalise on the effort you have put in to build your village and ‘ have yourself a merry little Christmas’ – sharing, giving and caring with others and living more abundantly.