Christmas always seems such a busy time of year. We are present-buying, gift-wrapping, food-ordering and house-decorating, whilst still making time to see friends and family.

We make a conscious effort to ensure we see everyone – whether it’s to drop a card round or toast to the festive season. Christmas Day itself is often spent with family, whilst the days that follow are for travelling across the country to visit extended family members or close friends. It is the time of year where we want to spend it with others, to see those we love, and reminisce on the year that is almost over. The New Year again is an occasion for familiarity. Perhaps you stay with family for the whole Christmas period and see in the new year together, prefer to meet friends for dinner or have a party at home for close acquaintances.

The truth is, what with all those new year resolutions and back to work January blues, we forget how nice it is to see friends and family. Those people who make us smile and lift us up and with whom we’ve just spent a lovely festive season conversing, laughing and eating with. We still see them of course, but without an occasion like Christmas to bring us altogether, it seems we forget and become despondent. We say, ‘I’ll see you soon’, or ‘Let’s promise it won’t be as long as last time’, and yet there we are giving them a hug come Easter – four months later.

Of course, distance and time will always play a part in this. I’m not suggesting we should be making room in our diaries every fortnight, or even every month for those who live far away, but why should it take a special occasion to see those we care about?

Everyone is always so busy, but that’s when months will pass you by and you’ll realise how long it’s been in between visits.

My university friends and I, despite living in three different counties – and one even in Ireland – really made an effort to make time for each other last year. We booked a weekend away just because, and visited each other – if only for a night. With two getting married next year no doubt this trend will continue, but I think it’s important to make time, if you want to. Either plan ahead or be spontaneous. 

After all, friends and family are for life are they not? Not just for…

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