My plea to you this Christmas

You’ll be glad to know that this will be my shortest blog post of the year! Christmas means something different to us all. For me, it’s about taking the time to focus on what truly matters in my life – my family and friends. The rest of the year is crammed with different events, all of which are important, but sadly, can impact on the quality time you spend with your nearest and dearest.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to appreciate the hope, joy, peace and love of Christmas. For it’s at Christmas that some of our fondest memories are formed. The opening of presents around the tree. That warm feeling inside when you see your loved ones smile at the gifts you’ve given to them. The stories and laughter shared around the dining table.

As I remind myself of how lucky I am to spend such time with the people I cherish and admire, I also ache with sadness for the thousands of people who’ll be alone this Christmas – and when I say alone, I don’t just mean stuck in their own homes. You can be sat in a room full of people, yet you can feel more alone and sad than anyone could imagine. At Christmas time, we will always remember the people we loved, who no longer walk on this Earth beside us. So my message to you is simple: please care for others. We shouldn’t wait for Christmas to do that, rather, keep that spirit with us throughout the year. Make time to see family. Visit a neighbour. Meet a friend and go for coffee. Whatever you do, do it from the heart.


Written by

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) MMRS is a multi-award-winning patient advocate, consultant, researcher, and writer from Manchester in the United Kingdom. He is recognised as one of the top 100 most influential people with disabilities in the UK, and was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with a variety of health conditions, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood, as well as a carer for his late mum. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society and a trustee of RAiISE. He is the former President of the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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