This year many of you will be doing just that, icing the Christmas cake. Putting that sweet, pure white, amazing icing on top of your cake. Depending on who you are, you will either love it or hate it. But one thing is clear - the icing covers what is underneath.
This is a picture of the real Christmas for so many people.
They are covering up what is underneath.
Many of you will really struggle this year but for all sorts of reasons will try and cover it up. Its not helpful at all.
Today I want to say its absolutely OK not to be OK.
Its OK to feel depressed, fed up, anxious, worried, scared, alone.
And I'm not going to give some glib answer about being strong, or an overcomer or ……...Its OK not to be OK. And guess what - you aren't alone. Not by a long way.
This year, today, right now, you stand in good company. Many others are equally as depressed, fed up, anxious, worried, scared, or alone as you feel. They are like this for all sorts of reasons - the year has gone and they still feel trapped, they have lost someone dear to them, they feel as though they are marking time, they feel as though no one else cares or knows how they feel, they are trying to be strong for someone else. You are not on your own and no amount of singing Good Will and Peace to All men will change this.
But you are not alone. And its OK to feel like this.
There is help available if you need it and its OK to ask for help. A quick internet search will find telephone numbers to call, or people to see. If you can talk with someone you trust, they won't have answers but you may feel better simply by talking and realising you are not alone.
I hate the icing on Christmas cakes. This year, don't bother to ice yours.
If you read this and it doesn't apply to you it will apply to someone you know so be a listening ear. Don't judge or even give advice - just listen and maybe this will be a good Christmas after all.