It is said that we find what we look for! If you are looking for annoying people, rude people or just difficult people; it seems to be true that we will see them everywhere. Try a game of looking for smiling people, happy children or a friendly sales assistant! The trick is that when you look at them you need to give them a big smile. Not only is it impossible  not to smile when someone genuinely smiles at you, but it can literally change their/your day. The child will usually smile back, albeit, shyly. They look at you as if to enquire if you really mean it! Smile again so they know that you do.

The sales assistant may have been run off of her or his feet and had customers who either look right through them or have been dismissive or rude. They may also check you out to see if you mean it but will break into a smile when they see that you do. It’s the human condition; our brain registers before we are aware of it, whether someone is a friend or foe. Have fun with it and see what happens.

It’s true to say that we are all tired of the commercialism of Christmas. Make a small gift instead. Everyone loves the gesture of knowing you took the trouble rather than just getting your credit card out again. When my daughters were young, I used to make bottles of Irish cream. I would save the bottles, buy some good eggs, some cream and some Irish whiskey. A week or two before I would put the lot in the blender with some cocoa powder and some vanilla and then put it in the bottles that I had made hygienic before hand. My daughters artistically made labels to stick on the bottle, noting the finest ingredients and a Christmas greeting. It tasted good and people seemed pleased with their gift. If you can make mince pies or individual Christmas puddings, even better. We’re all good at something. Give it a try. What have you got to lose? You may even have some fun in the meantime!

If your mum or aunty was young in the 60s, you could always buy her my novel, ‘Big Dreams’! Or if you are curious how it was back then, you could buy it for you! I have a special offer for pre-orders, of a personalised greeting, written and signed by me. Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas! Pamela Ann Sun 

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