Christmas: it’s a time when we come together in multiple generations to celebrate being family, loving family and having family – well, most people do! But when you’re over 60 it is different to how it used to be when you were in your tens, twenties, thirties and forties. For some it is a wonderful time of warmth and caring, full of hope and optimism, travel or grandkids, love and joy. For others it is strained, uncomfortable and difficult; and for some it is downright lonely as they remember or wish for times that simply aren’t possible because loved ones have passed or are too far away. No matter where you are today, we’re here with you and we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. But we do know that Christmas at 60+ is different… largely due to what has gone before in life and we want to talk about it today as we share Christmas wishes!
Over the last 21 months, since Starts at 60 began, I have got to know our over 60 community intimately. I hope you’ve got to know me and the rest of our team a little too. But Christmas last year was to me one of the most touching and memorable times because I had never before realised just how different Christmas becomes when you are over 60 until last year. Whilst we know 60 isn’t old at all, it is certainly a time when you know more, have lost more, and suffer fools less, or at least it seemed talking to everyone last year.
Those with lost loved ones seemed to suffer the most, pining for the special times on this day that is so full of traditions; but there were many with families nearby who simply felt sad about what Christmas has become for them, by choice or by circumstances.
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For others, Christmas was the most wonderful time – the time when all their families come together for one brief and fleeting moment to share in each other.
And there are those who never really could have a family, or their family simply isn’t close enough to be with at Christmas.
Christmas at 60 it seems is not necessarily the story book it is in your earlier decades. It’s just another day, but one with more expectations, more emotions and more feelings. It is happy, sad, full and empty.
For me, in my adult years, I have never had a lonely Christmas. At nearly 40, I have always been fortunate enough to have a large family around me, so even if one portion isn’t working, there was always someone to share the day with and I’ve gone out of my way to make it special.
But I want to know what Christmas is for you today. Is it exciting? Is it special? Is it sad? Is it lonely? Is it joyful? Is it different at 60 to how it used to be? Do you go out of your way to make Christmas special or does Christmas get you down? Share your feelings about Christmas today.
All of us here are Starts at 60 want to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Thanks for being here with us, and each other this year.