Is this your favorite time of year or a season you really don’t look forward to at all? All the excitement on young children’s faces. All the sparkly lights and decorated trees, all those Christmas songs playing continually in the shops. All those adverts on the tele and food in the shops. All those Christmas carols and bands playing.

I think there is always a lot of pressure on everyone at Christmas, and for us all it’s probably harder this year due to the higher cost of living. The challenge for us might not just be financial it might be all the things around family, either being together or being apart or the feeling that everyone apart from us is having a really good time.

That feeling of having to have a perfect Christmas, to be happy and full of joy, to be busy shopping and cooking, to be with friends and family, it can all be so overwhelming. It can make any anxiety or loneliness we feel so much worse and leave us feeling on the outside and alone.

We all need to be extra kind to ourselves and others at this time of year as we just don’t know how we will be feeling. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be special, and usually everyone will be struggling in some way behind the smiles, the tinsel and fairy lights.

There are people and groups that are here for you during this season, lots of warm space drop ins in Hubs, churches, community centers, community cafes and libraries, why don’t give them a try. Hope trust are running our usual sessions up to 23rd December and we would love to see you. We can chat about the things you love or loath about Christmas or avoid the subject and talk about something else that interests you.

Our regular sessions at Hope Trust are on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You can find out more about Hope Trust on T: 01394 272592, M: 07845 202 112 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.hopetrust.org.uk or on our Facebook page: The Hope Trust

Tracy Haskins, Charity Manager