What’s Christmas About? When Small Talk Is Too Small

It dawned on me half way through a conversation about the weather. There I was, going on for at least ten minutes about how it’s not too cold today and I didn’t need to wear my ear muffs. Really though, I couldn’t stop thinking about the morning I had spent tripping over homeless people in Dublin’s city centre, contending with troubled junkies and reading about another celebrity opening up about their mental health struggles.

I didn’t care about the weather. Sure, I enjoyed having the heaters on and soaking in that lovely side to Christmas but actually, there was so much more to be talking about… so why weren’t we?

As we move toward a busy and lovely time of the year, the small talk is going to happen. “Doing some Christmas shopping, eh?” “It’s a bit chilly today” and of course, “how’s your day going so far?” are all equally relevant. Amongst their relevance though, wouldn’t it be lovely to consider all the other conversations we could have and what else we can do in good ole thriving Ireland?

Without putting a massive downer on this festive season, I thought it a good chance to reflect on ways to focus on (what I believe to be) important. Shifting a focus from general chit chat and Christmas shopping over to pressing topics is seriously significant this time of year.

Instead of preaching and highlighting just how many causes we can help, I thought I’d put together a few that I’ve been thinking of. Fancy joining me?

*Offer some random kindnesses to people. Pay for a coffee for the person behind you in the queue and don’t say anything. Give a croissant to someone in work or simply make a dinner for those you love without them having to ask. Keep the focus on love and fun.

*Knowing what’s going on in your locality will mean you can get involved. For example, in Dublin city centre, there’s shoebox appeals, soup kitchens and so much more. Also, throwing a coffee morning or evening in work could be fun and beneficial for a cause.

*I spent quite some time recently avoiding the news. It made me sad and I didn’t know what to believe. Since that time, I’ve clicked in a bit more after realising that there’s so much that I need to be in the know about in order to help. Be sure of what you’re reading, don’t let it get you down and see what you can do with that information.

*Reach out to those you care about and haven’t seen in a while. You never know who could do with a chat or just your company. Time goes by SO quickly and this is the best time of year to reignite those wonderful relationships.

Don’t forget the treats, presents and getting merry. While you’re doing that though, let’s not lose the essence of the festive season amongst all the credit cards and cocktails.