“Happy Christmas”! To anyone feeling lonely, anxious, fearful or depressed, those words sound not only hollow but cynical.
In fact, they just seem to emphasise that many people aren’t actually happy at all, and won’t miraculously become that way just because it’s the festive season.
But it’s worth remembering that those smilingly wishing us a happy Christmas are often not very happy themselves – their smiles may hide heartache, worry, illness or even downright misery.
Talking to people can help, which is why so many of us turn to counselling and hypnotherapy. But a bit of ordinary, genuine goodwill can also go a long way towards making people feel better.
In the run-up to the Christmas holiday, I plan to make sure that I perform at least one small act of kindness or consideration every day, even if it’s only telling someone that they’ve done a good job or thanking them properly for their help. Simply smiling at people who serve you in shops can make their day that bit better.
If we could all do this, it would make our lives a little bit happier, I’m sure. And who knows – it might become a habit.
Because goodwill is for life, not just for Christmas.