Friday 20 December 2013


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One thing that has annoyed me recently is the incessant guilt a lot of people, companies, and especially some charities throw at you during the festive period. This time of year is basically a time of celebration for the birth of Jesus, for everyone to enjoy. A time for friendship, peace, and to give freely your love to others.

The other day I settled down in the lounge with my laptop while the television played in the background. For the next hour there was a continuous procession of tear jerking adverts, one after the after from charities mostly about animals from Donkey's to Elephants begging for your money. All they wanted was just a few pounds every month and you could save the world.

I got fed up and decided to get away from the guilt trip the adverts had put me through, so I headed into Norwich City Centre to purchase a gift or two. Within five minutes of arriving I passed three people pleading for me to buy the big issue, three street beggars with their pit bull dogs, three charity collectors, and a host of groups singing while collecting money at the same time.

I hadn't given a penny to any and went home after half an hour feeling miserable. The guilt I felt for not giving to all these different people burned in me like a red hot star. From guilt to misery this grew into frustration which lead to anger, and finally rage.

Why should I be pissed off with all these people because at the end of the day me and my family give freely though out the year without seeking reward! So why should we be made to feel guilty now?. The wife and I give our blood freely three times a year through the British blood service. Every year my wife completes The Race for Life which raises money for Cancer research, and in the just six months my personal effort raised thousands of pound for a new disabled toilet in the parish church. Throughout the year we both give out time for voluntary work at our children's primary school, and for a couple of hours for two days a week I help out at Norwich Cathedral and the Parish Church.

Then there is out home. It is very rare for a week to go by without somebody enjoying our hospitality. This weekend a friend of my wife from London is staying then this Wednesday on Christmas Day I will be cooking for nine people while the wife hurries about the house keeping them entertained, then before we even get into the New Year celebrations people will be staying over night.

Don't get me wrong, to me it's not a burden because I love every minute of it.

On Monday morning while we are completing our final Christmas shop we will make sure there are a few extra items which we will donate to the local food bank. I don't want to make myself out to be some angel because I'm not. I've just overdosed on all the begging and I know most people are the same, because the other night when the local Round Table came walking up our street knocking on doors with a big Father Christmas in tow behind a car; collecting money in buckets for charity my children quite gladly handed over some of their pocket money. But I noticed that although all the neighbours where in not one of them came to the door.

So don't feel guilty this Christmas because it's not about giving money, or presents. The true meaning of Christmas is giving your love freely to others.



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