As the air grows colder and the leaves hit the ground, the faces of children in town begin to smile. The lights in Coleraine Town Centre signaling to them that their favorite time of year has come once again.
Stores prepare for sales and children start pointing at things they want in store, even if their parents can’t afford it. Couples sit at the café discussing whose family they’re going to see first, University students chat with their friends, and some folks simply sit alone and enjoy a cup of coffee to warm themselves.
For many, Christmas is a wonderful time of year. However, there are those who won’t get to enjoy this year’s festivities. For some, they simply don’t celebrate Christmas and enjoy a different winter holiday. For others, they may be in a difficult place in their lives. Mental health can take a toll on people during the holiday season, and the pandemic only making their struggles more difficult as they may not be able to spend time with their families.
There are also those who have not made it through the year. Many people have lost their lives due to the pandemic. Mothers and Fathers, Sons and Daughters, who won’t see their families again. There are those who’ve lost their lives to violence. Shootings, stabbings, and bombs, all happening in the background of the café’s conversations.
So, while the lights keep glowing and families prepare to spend time with their loved ones. While hams are cooked and presents are wrapped, it is important to reflect on those who could not make it. To reflect on those burden by life’s problems, both physical and mental. To remember all those who can’t join on the festivities. So when we celebrate coming together, we can also celebrate for those who could not make it to end of the year, like the leaves falling from the trees in the winter air.