Colourful tinsel and carols are constant reminders that Christmas is around the corner. For some, the razzle-dazzle reminds them of festive lunches and Christmas cheer but for others, the fanfare only emphasises their sadness over a lost loved one, a painful illness, a feeling of loneliness that others don’t seem to notice, or the disappointment of not being able to afford a gift this Christmas.

Christmas, for some, can become a time of relationship tensions, the prospect of celebrations turning sour, or even worse, violence.

Against the backdrop of news headlines of wars, escalating conflict in parts of the world and natural disasters, Christmas can sometimes feel less than cheery. For many struggling families in our communities, and in other parts of the world, the reality of Christmas can look different to glossy magazine spreads or social media photos of happy families.

This Christmas, look beyond the decorative lights and gifts and take a moment to extend extra kindness to yourself or someone in need.

Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas Day is a picture of anticipation and hope for peace. Christmas celebrates God’s greatest act of love and his greatest gift: the birth of Jesus. Mission Australia acknowledges Jesus’ birth (what Christians celebrate at Christmas), death and rising to new life (what Christians remember at Easter) as the way for people to be at peace with God, despite the messy stuff happening in our lives and in the world. That promise of peace is an open invitation from God to anyone and everyone through faith in Jesus.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. - Phil Chapman, Executive, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care.

Three meaningful ways to spread kindness this Christmas

The days leading up to Christmas and New Years can feel like a blur of activity and social commitments. In between Christmas lunches, gift unwrapping and family events, it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget the reason for the season – celebrating hope in Christ and sharing God’s love with others. Here are three ways you can practice kindness and love this Christmas: 

1. Christmas can be overwhelming - be kind to yourself

The festive season can easily get overwhelming, and without carving out space to rest and recover, people can feel burnt out, fatigued or restless.

When we slow down and try to be present during the holiday season, it creates an opportunity for us to step back and appreciate the blessings in our lives. It's also a chance to cultivate kindness towards the people who are dear to us, as well as those in our community.

Tip: Treating others well largely depends on how you care for your own mental and emotional wellbeing. There is no way we can love others from an empty well.

Some ways you can be kind to yourself include: 

  • Make it a priority to spend time, however little or long, doing things that make you happy.
  • Document your emotions by journaling or trying a meditation app.
  • Spend time outdoors on a walk and catch up on some fresh air.
  • Take a break from social media or news headlines.
  • Try exercising or some form of physical activity to help regulate your emotions.
  • Reach out for professional help if you need someone to speak to about your mental wellbeing.

 2. Christmas can be lonely – connect with others

For those who have lost a loved one, live away from family or recently moved to a new area, Christmas can be a particularly lonely time. With additional businesses and services closed during the Christmas period, the holiday period can feel extra isolating.

Whether you’re feeling disconnected or notice someone on the fringe, check in with a loved one or reach out to others who may be feeling lonely or disheartened this Christmas.

Some meaningful ways you can connect with others:

  • Ask someone, “how are you?”
  • Pray for someone. Need guidance? Read these helpful prayers.
  • Write a meaningful Christmas card or send a thoughtful greeting.
  • Open your home and share an intimate meal with someone in your life.
  • Share honest and authentic updates on social media.
  • Donate gifts or unused items to a local charity.
  • Instead of a gift, offer to buy someone a meal.

 3. Christmas can be challenging for some – help those in need!

Over the last three years, demand for homelessness services like ours has spiked by 26%1. For families facing disadvantages or those struggling with the rising cost of living, Christmas will be just as tough.

Mission Australia plays an invaluable role in helping families in need through a variety of ways. From finding a safe place to call home to connecting people with wraparound services, we help end homelessness and ensure people and communities in need can thrive.

There are many ways you can help end homelessness and support people facing strain this Christmas. From volunteering to raising awareness or participating in a community fundraiser, your help goes a long way.

You can support someone in need this Christmas by:

Donate to our Christmas Appeal

1 Mission Australia Homelessness Impact Report 2023

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Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'