Merry Christmas, if you’re feeling festive yet!

I’m going to be careful what I say about Christmas at this time of year, because I find that when it comes to Christmas there will often be two noticeable groups of people, along with others who fall somewhere between.

Group number one can’t stand to hear how many ‘sleeps’, ‘days’ or worse ‘shopping days’ are left until Christmas, hates cheesy Christmas songs, hasn’t finished their Christmas shopping yet and feels that Christmas gets mentioned earlier and earlier each year, and probably that Christmas is ‘mainly for the kids’.

Bah Humbug!

Group number two is a big kid, has finished their shopping, is maybe feeling a little smug (which doesn’t help people from group one to feel very festive towards them!) and is just relaxing and enjoying the general Christmassy mood. They can be seen staring with wonder at the Christmas lights garishly strung across neighbourhood houses. They wrote their Christmas cards in October.

Whichever type of person you are, this is likely to be a busy time of year for you, and it’s also a time when services are less readily available, shops are more crowded and it’s not always easy to function as normal. Having said that, it can also be a time of useful distractions, and hopefully a time for friends and family to get together, and help each other out a bit more.

It’s not always easy to get into the festive mood, but for me it helped when I attended and helped out at the NRAS Christmas Carol Concert last Friday. We had a fantastic turn out, and some wonderful performances. Staff, volunteers and guests, including the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon. Theresa May MP, performed beautifully, whether they were singing or reading, but it was the children from White Waltham C of E Primary School, and the young adults of Cox Green School Chamber Choir that stole the show for me. The evening raised £600 for the charity, but more importantly it brought people together, and got everyone that attended into the Christmas spirit. It was really lovely meeting and talking to all the people that came along afterwards.

Finally, I would like to talk about the food at Christmas. It is easy to over-indulge at Christmas time, and it doesn’t always make us feel very good come January! If you are concerned about how to eat healthily during the Christmas period, then please click on the following link to read a a great article on our website, which was written by our dietary advisor, Dorothy Pattison. I hope you find the article as interesting and informative as I do, but having said that, if you can't treat yourself at Christmas then when can you!? nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoi...

Have a lovely Christmas, to you and your families.

Vicky Backhurst

Helpline & Information Coordinator

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