Christmas is a time for giving, so I thought it would be nice to explain why we don’t do Christmas cards. As a family a couple of years ago we decided to stop sending Christmas cards, and instead we donate to Jigsaw children’s hospice and this is why.
Joe has used Jigsaw for respite for more than 10 years (I think) and without the amazing service that the hospice provides, we would be at a real loss as a family. Both in terms of respite and support. When most people hear the word ‘hospice’ you in that instant see the expression of complete shock and panic distill across their face. And I do understand why, but I literally cannot get across in words just how much of an amazing, happy and peaceful place it is. I think everyone should go and really see what the place is all about, and most importantly just how amazing the staff are.
When we were young we used to attend siblings days that the hospice provided. These were days provided by the hospice where siblings of individuals with a life limiting illness got to go and do ‘normal’ activities together such as light water valley. Those days were often a life line for a little bit of ‘normality’ for us. It was an opportunity for us to feel care free almost. It was always reassuring knowing that everyone there was in the same boat. We all understood what each other was going through without ever really having to say anything. And that was the best thing, we could talk about it if we wanted, and not if we didn’t.
When I was young I never really knew what a hospice was at first. This has been part of our ‘normal’ from quite young, and still very much is. At first I didn’t used to like going in, and I think that’s because you feed off other people’s reaction to the word without realising. It always used to feel like such a daunting and scary thing. But if you’re new to being a part of your local hospice, I would really urge you to go and see before you make any judgments. Although a hospice is a sad place in many ways, Jigsaw doesn’t feel like you would expect a hospice too at all. I love going as it’s peaceful, the staff are always really positive, bubbly and mad as a hatter (which I absolutely love). There is just this real serene feel to the place. Once I had been for the first time I felt so much at ease and positive about it.
The staff are what makes Jigsaw tick, and I absolutely admire every single one of them. I have always felt supported by them as a sibling, and even staff that no longer work there still stop to speak if I’m on a night out, having a meal or just pass them in the street. They go so far above and beyond their job, and I cannot stress enough the importance and significance of what they do, and also the amazing way they deal with some pretty tough circumstances with such grace.
Over the course of each year my husband and I try to do as many events as we can for the Jigsaw. Some years we manage more than others, but this is always the charity I support 100% of the time. At christmas we all spend so much money on things like cards, when lets be completely honest, they go up for a couple of weeks then go in the bin. I would really encourage more people to consider scrapping it and giving to a cause close to your heart instead. It makes you feel good as a person knowing your supporting such an important service that has an impact on so many people’s lives. But it’s also nice to drop some of the commercialisation and do something kind and nice, especially at Christmas time.