Christmas is a special time of year, for many it is by far their most favourite time of the year.
For me, Christmas is nice – and that’s it. Just NICE - as defined: 'giving pleasure or satisfaction'. Not amazing nor spectacular - more lovely and.......nice.
It has never been as special since the magic of Father Christmas faded and the realities of saving up, shopping and going rather over the top for just one day dawned. To me, it’s just a day – it’s not even Jesus’s real birthday – but the sentiment of celebration is nice.
In the past I have had big wonderful family Christmas celebrations, but I also had Christmas with just my Dad, times with just a friend or two, and many Christmas days when I worked on a busy NHS ward. Christmas has been far nicer since I became a mummy myself and the specialness returned somewhat, but then also the financial burden!
What I am aware of is how the expectations on this particular day and holiday season places so much pressure on so many, when the real sentiment was simply about bringing hope and joy to the world.
So I thought I would share the 8 things that I like about Christmas:-
Watching Christmas movies – ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Muppets Christmas Carol’. These films have been a fairly stable of mine over the years, and it almost heralds the arrival of Christmas when I have the Radio Times to circle all the fabulous films that I look forwards to cuddling up on the sofa to watch!
Christmas baking – making biscuits, crackers and mince pies to enjoy over Christmas, always nicer when made at home with the raw ingredients, and often makes for a lovely aroma in the kitchen.
Christmas carols - The joy of listening to Christmas carols and singing or humming these tunes can cheer one up immensely. Often the words are so ingrained in our memories from school days, they conjurer up the feeling from many happy Christmas celebrations of the past.
Fairy lights and pretty decorations - New lights and fresh decorations mixed with old ones give a feeling of warmth and happiness. When these are up, everyone knows that Christmas is near, and this is enough to brighten even the most gloomiest of moods. There can never be too many fairy lights in my opinion!
Making Christmas gifts for people – Often starting months in advance, I think about the sorts of things that people really like and if I can make any then I will. One year we made fudge, another year savoury crackers, but most years I do a lovely sloe gin that goes down very well indeed! I am knitting little angels this year, so a few will make their way as gifts,
Buying Christmas Gifts - Shopping for friends and family in this season can be extremely exciting. It is lovely to gift people with a token of love that they will appreciate, and is even more fun to keep their presents a secret from them. I tend not to go overboard as people value thoughtful gifts more than the expensive ones.
Christmas Treats – Sweets and chocolates are a must – in the seasonal over indulgence these feature firmly, no other time would have such tempting delights all around, but with a few over Christmas, it feels so extravagant and exciting! We know that chocolate is good for mood, so do enjoy and write off as a holiday luxury.
Family get-togethers – When possible, on the terms you wish the get-togethers to be, it can be so lovely! - for many being their absolute favourite thing about Christmas. Yes, there is the occasional family drama, but hey, that's what Christmas is all about. I especially love to get out for a walk on Christmas Day. It is the feeling of togetherness that really matters, and we don’t have to be together physically, we can connect online, on the phone or through cards or letters. Letting people know you love them and care for them brings us all together no matter where we are in the world.
So these are the things that combine to making Christmas special to me in a nice way, not too over indulgent, and balanced with the fact that it is just another day. Should we be working, or unwell, we will celebrate the togetherness another day instead! These things are what my parents built each of my Christmas days from when I was a child, and I like it all for that very reason the most x
Wishing you a lovely Christmas - however you decide to spend it, I wish it to be nice ❤️
By Kim Crowe - 2020