Let's start with this — you are valuable. Believe it or not, your family and friends love you for who you are despite your poorly timed jokes, your inability to dance, and your lack of shame when it comes to singing.

If you're a person not close to family or you find yourself in a position where it has been hard to form friendships — please understand that you have value and maybe you don't know it, but you will be contributing positively to someone somewhere.

It might be the kindly elderly neighbour you say hi to as you pass them in the morning — your interaction may be the only social interaction they have so please hear me out when I say you have value and you are noticed.

Christmas — historically is also known as a high time for family violence occurrences, and anecdotally, a hard time for people when it comes to mental health challenges.


It should also come as no shock that some in the farming community, and those outside of it, are laden with debt and feel immense pressure to spend big when it comes to Christmas.

I need you to think back to a positive Christmas memory of your own or maybe a birthday — do you remember what you were given when you were 4? Do you remember what you got when you were 15? Or is what you're remembering a time you got to spend with your parents or a best friend building something or going on an adventure?

There is no point entering debt with your credit card or a dodgy finance company just to keep up with the Joneses. No one who loves you or wants you to be happy would want to know that your purchase of a present for them pushed you into debt.

If the problem is in-laws or peer pressure, talk to the loved ones you do care about and be honest about the situation. If tensions get high leave the room, leave the house — go for a walk. But make sure you are safe. Christmas is for the whole family and that includes you.