A few months ago a friend of mine bought me a book of poetry. It was out of the blue, no reason, not my birthday nor in return of a favour I had done them. They had seen the book thought of me and bought it. I love that book. Not because of its contents, although many of the poems are my favourites. It was the unasked for thought it represents. The reminder that we are not alone, but often take up space in other people thoughts. The book sits on my shelf, and I find myself turning to it more because of what it represents than what it actually is.

At this time when there has become an expectation of gift giving, it is difficult to overcome the monetary side of the season. Difficult then to give a sincere gift, bought only because the gift brought to mind the person it was intended for rather than purchased because it was time to make a purchase.

Listening to the media there would appear to be a certain correlation between the amount someone is loved and the financial value of the gifts they receive. How terribly untrue. Time, a helping hand through the year, a conversation are all things we can give. Sometimes, it is worth remembering that it is not the expensive gifts which are remembered; it is the most thoughtful presents and those who gave them which stay with us.

Trying really hard not to sound like ‘Thought for the Day’ and failing miserably, but, I love Christmas, it’s warmth and sense of family. It doesn’t matter whether that is family you were born to or family you have chosen. Make Christmas about the people you choose to share it with rather than the presents exchanged – and maybe make someone smile at a different time of year when you give or make them something just because you were thinking of them.