Christmas was often a sad day for me as a child. Truth be told, the whole month of December was particularly lonesome and barren growing up since my birthday also fell on one of the coldest and darkest months of the year and was often forgotten.
Christmas is what other children and families celebrated and I remember a Christmas card I received from a primary school class mate which had a picture of children looking through snow-covered windows at the family within basking in warm light and having a delicious Christmas dinner, the Christmas tree dutifully in the back ground sheltering a small mountain of brightly wrapped gifts. I remember I wanted to cry when I saw this because I knew I was the kid on the wrong side of the window.
But before I whip out my little violin I can humbly say my Christmases have been a much better and warmer experience in my adulthood. I am now that family on the other side of the window. Gone are the days when my sisters and I would circle toys with our pencil that we desperately wanted in the Argos catalogue but knew deep down we would never get. We didn’t understand why Santa didn’t visit us – were we bad?
Fortunately that is the past and my sisters and I are okay now. However, there are many children (and adults) who will only understand my experience too well for they find themselves outside that very window. So for this Christmas, I urge all of us to find a space in our hearts to help our fellow man who may not have enough to feed their family or gift a little toy or book to their child. It matters less the why and the how they got there only that there is a child somewhere needing us and hungry bellies to fill.
Brighter Baillieston Food Aid and Community of Helping Hands are local resident-run
charities that make food packs for the vulnerable in our surrounding communities and are a life-line for many families. Be the reason for someone’s happiness this year by gifting some non-perishable foods (tins like soups, dry goods like noodles and pasta and biscuits) and even a little toy or book – I’ll leave a box at my shop for drop-offs which will be shared between the two charities or alternatively, you can contact them directly through their social media.
I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to shop local independent businesses where possible – if we all spend even just a few pounds each we will collectively help ensure our community thrives and have a better future in 2021! And who doesn’t want that! Merry Christmas everyone!
Susan Tong is the owner of Sunshine Tea Lounge, your local tea lounge, bakery, deli and grocery shop on 29 Buchanan Street, G69 6DY. Follow Sunshine Tea Lounge on Facebook and Instagram for updates.