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☰ It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Head's Blog

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Posted on December 12 2018

Christmas has to be the busiest time of year in schools, but for me, it is my favourite time of the school calendar. It is a magical holiday and all the children look forward to the joy of the season: all the presents they’ll get, all the great food and treats, and lots of time to just enjoy life and have fun when the holiday period arrives. Therefore, as we encounter advent, is there any better place to be than in a school surrounded by children? I don’t think so, as Andy Williams put it ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’.

Everyone has fond memories of Christmas they can recall on and that are imprinted into our mind and are revived every year with the sounds and sights of the season. For me, I look back on those first few Christmas morning experiences with my two daughters, to watch their faces and be part of the excitement is like nothing else (it certainly beats the Atari console year for sure!). To most of us, it's a special time of year, one in which we celebrate and connect with those closest to us, friends and family, many of whom we have not seen for prolonged periods of time.

However, the reality for some people can be very different. Every year many people are lonely. For some it's another year without that special someone to share the season with. An enormous amount of people spend Christmas alone or with limited contact with others. For them, they can't wait for Christmas to be over and for January 2nd. All the laughter, gaiety, and partying around them makes them even sadder. They remember when it was fun for them, maybe last year (or ten years ago) when they were surrounded by those they love. For others, perhaps they have moved away from their family and don't know many people in their new town. Or possibly they will spend this year away from their children, deceased spouse, or ex-partner for the first time.

Thankfully, most of us will not have this experience this Christmas, but for those that do, remember to invite them into your homes and lives, and to share with them the closeness of friendship. This could be a work colleague, neighbour, relative, or friend. Regardless, this is the most significant gesture of the holiday spirit you can bring to life this year. Presents are fun to give and receive, but the true nature of giving is really from the heart. It is why, for the first time this year, the Tucker household will be joined by a new member for Christmas dinner. A certain special someone who had their mother pass away during 2018, so single, alone and with very little family, along with their widowed father, they will join us for the festivities and feel welcomed and loved.

At Forest Park, we have worked tirelessly to engage our wider community this festive season and do as much as we can to give from our heart. The Year 6 pupils have visited The Being There Charity, a group that offers help and support to elderly dementia sufferers. A group who has limited contact with other people, until our pupils arrived that is! The children spent an afternoon last week creating some delicate Christmas decorations and enjoyed bonding with their new buddy over a cup of tea and a biscuit. The aim is to continue these visits each term and widen the Forest Park family. Only yesterday our school choir visited St. Michael’s Court and shared a festive sing song with their elderly residents. Another beautiful experience for our pupils to share in the magical spirit of Christmas.

So please continue to engage others at this most lonely time of year.  Enjoy the festive holidays, they are a time to rekindle old friendships; making time to get together for coffee when otherwise you seem too busy, calling people you generally don't make the time for since you now live separate lives. In the Christmas holidays, we have people over or visit others, again something most people do very little of any more in their busy hustle and bustle lives. It's a time to let bygones be bygones, and forgive and forget when it comes to your siblings, parents, or friends who have maybe upset you sometime in the past.

I am grateful for spending this time of year in school at Forest Park. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for all of us. Also, it's not just one day, it's the whole month of December that creates the magical festive feeling. Make plans now to reconnect with friends and family, and not just on Christmas Day. Look around you for the people in your life that you can invite in to get a taste of the goodness and warmth of that Christmas magical spirit. Whatever you do, and whoever you spend it with, have a wonderful Christmas time.

Best wishes to all Forest Park families this Christmas!

Nick Tucker

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