Last year was a really different Christmas for so many of us. After months of lockdown we really hoped that things would resemble the festive seasons that went before even if it had to be in a more scaled-down way. We looked forward to celebrating with family and friends as we had always done and tried hard to adapt our plans to fit in with restrictions. No big parties or office get-togethers and a reduction in the number of people we could have around the Christmas table didn’t daunt us as we did our best to adapt.
Then we found ourselves locked down again and no matter how necessary this was, it was so disappointing for people who had gone through many months feeling isolated at home, communicating via Zoom or Facetime and who had looked forward to some kind of return to normal.
This coming Festive Season is already being portrayed in the media as a return to the glittery old days and a casual glance at television advertisements and magazine covers show cheery groups of people wearing festive hats and cheesy grins having a brilliant time. Social media has the inevitable ‘selfies’ of people in glittery clothes pouting at their phones to demonstrate to the world how fabulous their lives are.
You may think that this is pretty harmless and I’m sure it is unless you are one of those people who feel that their lives do not resemble what they see in front of them and feel sad that they don’t have that life that they see portrayed.
Someone once said ‘don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides’ and this has never been more appropriate or timely.
Remember the last time you took a flight anywhere and the flight attendant told you to put on your oxygen mask before trying to help anyone else? Well, how would it be if we applied a little of that same logic to our Christmas preparation?
What if we decided to change how we look at the whole thing and made changes to the way we approach the festive season this year?
If the last two years has given us anything positive it must surely be the chance to rethink how we do things and how we mark those big occasions.
This year the shops aren’t quite so full of shiny things to buy and, for months now, suppliers of festive food and the ‘must have’ toys and gifts, have been warning of shortages and the need to start early.
What if we decided to do everything differently and celebrate in a way that’s perfect for ourselves and those we love? We could decide to dress up in glitter and eat our body weight in cheese and chocolate all washed down with our tipple of choice or just stay in pyjamas all day eating toast and watching old films..
We could decide to take things easier this year and make sure that we build in time for ourselves between the present buying and parcel wrapping. Time to just breathe…make a cup of tea and put our feet up for ten minutes.
Writing this in the wake of so much drama and turmoil over the past two years and talking about donning sparkle may seem a little shallow. But, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to remind ourselves of how magical this time of year can be regardless of our circumstances and if that involves a bit of sparkle what harm can it do? It might even make someone else’s day as they go about their business at this, the darkest time of the year.
For myself, I thought this might be the perfect moment to stop all the rushing around, take a moment to breathe and take stock of the year just past. To take a little time to say a heartfelt thank you to my family and friends.
I would also like to thank everyone I have worked with over the last two years. It has been an honour and I wish you all a happy and restful Christmas, however you spend it.
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